Joanne and Al Martinez looking elegant and happy at the opening of the exhibit, Al
Martinez—Bard of L.A. at the Huntington Library in 2012. Since then, Al Martinez
has been honored by the Society of Professional Journalists as a Fellow of the
Society, its highest honor. The three time Pulitzer Prize winner has been highly
regarded for his efforts in journalism over the past two decades and in 1996, the SPJ
named him Journalist of the Year.
INDIANAPOLIS,INThe Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) is pleased to honor Al Martinez as Fellow of the Society. It is the highest honor given by the Society and is awarded for extraordinary contribution to the profession.
Martinez has held many titles during his career pathreporter, author, scriptwriter, documentarian and creator of a number of television series. He has won three Pulitzer Prizes for his work at the Los Angeles Times for contributions in a 1983 series on the Southern California Latino community; team coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots; and a staff award for reporting on the 1994 Northridge earthquake.
Martinez has written columns since 1984. Before becoming a columnist for the Los Angeles Times in 1984, he was a news feature writer and reporter for 12 years. Prior to that he was a columnist, feature writer and military reporter for the Oakland Tribune.
He has been highly regarded for his efforts in journalism over the past two decades. In 1996, SPJ named him Journalist of the Year, and the California Chicano News Media Association awarded him the 2002 Print Journalist of the Year. Other honors include a 1988 National Ernie Pyle Award and a 1988 National Headliner Award. He was also nominated for a 1992 Emmy for the CBS-TV movie, "Out on the Edge."
Martinez is a published author of "The Last City Room" and "City of Angels, a Drive-By Portrait of L.A.," as well as two books profiling Spanish-speaking Americans, "Rising Voices" and "Rising Voices: A New Generation." In addition to creating three network television series, he has 20 writing credits for TV movies.
Martinez attended San Francisco State College and the University of California, Berkeley, and received an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Whittier College in 1996. He was born in Oakland and is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He is married and has three children.
Martinez will be honored at the Excellence in Journalism 2013 conference in Southern California. He will receive a jeweled key and a plaque on Aug. 26 at the Presidents Installation Banquet.
Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information on SPJ, please visit www.spj.org.