By Laura Crimaldi, director, New England First Amendment Coalition
Anthony Lewis, the first recipient of the Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award, has died. Lewis’s wife, Margaret H. Marshall, a retired chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, told The New York Times that Lewis, 85, passed away of complications from renal and heart failure.
The New England First Amendment Coalition bestowed the award on Lewis on Feb. 11, 2011 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. Lewis, a former New York Times reporter and columnist, won the Pulitzer Prize twice.
In introducing Lewis, NEFAC director and Pulitzer Prize winner Walter V. Robinson, called him a “giant” in journalism.
“Newspaper journalism is not always a comfortable fit for original thinkers, though it surely has been for Tony. Among that small cohort, over decades, Tony has been a giant. If we are the army at dawn, Tony Lewis has been the clear-eyed sentinel, always out ahead of the column, warning us for the forces that imperil our freedoms,” Robinson said.
The third Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award will be presented to NECN founder and GlobalPost co-founder Philip Balboni. Last year, the award was presented to Martin Baron, Washington Post executive editor and former editor of The Boston Globe.