Sylvester Monroe

Sylvester Monroe served as an Assistant Foreign Editor at The Washington Post in charge of reporting from Europe and South Asia from 2014 to December 2017. During his storied career, Monroe has had a variety of important assignments with NewsweekTIMEThe San Jose Mercury News, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and Ebony.

Monroe graduated from Harvard University, cum laude with a B.A. in social studies in 1973. He then started as a full-time correspondent in Newsweek’s Boston bureau, where he covered the Kenneth Edelin abortion trial and school desegregation in South Boston. He served as Newsweek’s Chicago correspondent and from 1976 to 1978, as Deputy Bureau Chief from 1978 to 1983 and as Boston Bureau Chief from 1983 to 1985, when he joined Newsweek’s Washington bureau.

Monroe won several awards for his reporting on such stories as “Why Johnny Can’t Write”, “American Innovation”, and the three part series “Why Public Schools are Flunking”. Monroe covered Harold Washington’s successful Chicago mayoral campaign in 1983 and Reverend Jesse L. Jackson’s bid for the U.S. presidency in 1984. In 1987, Newsweek featured a cover story about Monroe’s return to Chicago’s housing projects to follow up on eleven of his childhood friends. The story, “Brothers” co-authored with Newsweek senior editor, Peter Goldman, developed into a best selling book, Brothers: Black and Poor—A True Story of Courage and Survival.

Monroe joined TIME Magazine in 1989 as a Los Angeles-based correspondent. There, he worked as a principal reporter for post riot coverage of the Rodney King trial, as well as on the 1993 cover story, “Is L.A. Going to Hell?” and a 1994 feature about Minister Louis Farrakhan. Monroe became deputy managing editor of the San Jose Mercury News in 2001, but later that year joined the Atlanta Journal – Constitution as Sunday editor for the National /Foreign Desk. In 2006, Monroe joined the staff of Ebony Magazine as Senior Editor, where he was political editor and covered Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Since leaving Ebony in 2009, he has worked as a freelance editor and writer for several publications including The Root.com and The Defendersonline.com. Monroe has been a contract editor and writer on the Corporate Citizenship Team at Oracle Corp. and Oracle Education Foundation.

A former vice president of the National Association of Black Journalists, Monroe served on the board of St. Georges Preparatory School and is a frequently sought after as a public speaker.

Monroe can be reached at commlead@usc.edu.