NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — John Seigenthaler, the journalist who edited The Tennessean newspaper, helped shape USA Today and worked for civil rights during the Kennedy administration, has died. He was 86.
His son, John M. Seigenthaler, and representatives from Seigenthaler Public Relations say the former editor died Friday at his Nashville home.
In his wide-ranging career, Seigenthaler also served on Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign and founded the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University.
While working for Kennedy, Seigenthaler served as chief negotiator with the governor of Alabama during the 1961 Freedom Rides organized by civil rights activists seeking to integrate interstate buses. During that crisis, he was attacked and knocked unconscious by a mob of Klansmen in Montgomery, Ala., as tried to aid a young protester who was being pursued by the rioters.