December 20, 1999: Newspaperman Jack Maurice Dies in Charleston at Age 86


Newspaperman Jack Maurice died in Charleston on December 20, 1999, at age 86. Maurice was born in 1913 in the McDowell County coal town of Vivian. During his childhood, his family moved frequently around the West Virginia and Kentucky coalfields. He graduated from Huntington High School and Marshall College (now University) and immediately started his career with the Huntington Herald-Dispatch in 1935. Three years later, he joined the staff of the Charleston Daily Mail.

During World War II, Maurice served in the U.S. Navy Reserves for three years, achieving the rank of lieutenant. After the war, he returned to the Daily Mail as chief editorial writer. He became the paper’s editor in 1950, editor-in-chief in 1969, and a contributing editor and columnist in 1979. He retired from the Daily Mail in 1984.

Maurice’s most notable accomplishment came in 1975, when he won journalism’s highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize, for a series of editorials about the violent textbook controversy that had polarized Kanawha County the previous year. Until April 2017, Jack Maurice was the only West Virginia journalist to win a Pulitzer, until Eric Eyre with the Charleston Gazette-Mail won for his coverage of the opioid crisis in West Virginia. (Updated December 20, 2017).