David Lawrence, Jr.


    David Lawrence, Jr. retired in 1999 as publisher of The Miami Herald to work in the area of early childhood development and readiness after a long and illustrious career in journalism. During his tenure at The Miami Herald, the paper won five Pulitzer Prizes. He is president of The Early Childhood Initiative Foundation and “Education and Community Leadership Scholar” at the University of Miami’s School of Education and Human Development. In 2002 and 2008 he led successful campaigns for The Children’s Trust, a dedicated source of early intervention and prevention funding for children in Miami-Dade. He is the founding chair. He was a key figure in passing a statewide constitutional amendment in 2002 to provide pre-K for all 4 year olds. He is a board member and former chair of the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade and Monroe. The David Lawrence Jr. K-8 Public School opened in 2006. An endowed chair in early childhood studies is established in his name at the University of Florida College Of Education. Before coming to Miami in 1989, Mr. Lawrence was publisher and executive editor of the Detroit Free Press. Before that he served as editor of the Charlotte Observer, and earlier in reporting and editing positions at four newspapers. He is a graduate of the University of Florida, named “Outstanding Journalism Graduate” and subsequently so named from the Advanced Management program at the Harvard Business School. His 12 honorary doctorates include one from his alma mater, the University of Florida. His national honors include the Ida B. Wells Award “for exemplary leadership in providing minorities employment opportunities” and the National Association of Minority Media Executives award for “lifetime achievement in diversity.” He was inducted into the Florida Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2010.