Jerry Mitchell


Jerry Mitchell is the founder of the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting. Before then, he worked for 30 years for the statewide Clarion-Ledger. 

Stories by the investigative reporter helped lead to the convictions of Klansmen in the 1963 assassination of Mississippi NAACP official Medgar Evers, the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham church that killed four Black girls, and the 1964 slayings of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andy Goodman, and Mickey Schwerner. His work also led to the 2016 conviction of Felix Vail, the oldest conviction in a serial killer case in U.S. history. 

For more than 30 years, his stories have exposed injustices, corruption, and abuse of power. His work has prompted prosecutions, spurred reforms of state agencies, and led to firings of state board officials. 

Mitchell won a $500,000 MacArthur "genius" grant and more than 30 other national awards. He was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist. 

His memoir about his pursuit of civil rights cold cases, Race Against Time, was released in 2020.

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