Company: State University of New York at Old Westbury
Location: Freeport, New York, United States
Denton Watson, Professor at the State University of New York at Old Westbury, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in the fields of American studies and higher education.
As a young man, Mr. Watson served in the United States Navy from 1957 to 1959, when he was honorably discharged. He started his higher education at the University of Hartford, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1964. He continued his studies at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, earning a Master of Science in 1965. From 1967 to 1968, Mr. Watson was the recipient of the Inter American First Association Scholarship in Chile, and in 1971, he started working in public relations for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). From 1979 to 1981, he worked as an editorial writer for the Baltimore Sun, and in 1983, he became the director of public relations for the NAACP, a position he held until 1985. In 1992, he started as a professor at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Old Westbury, where he continues to work to this day.
For many years, Mr. Watson has worked as the project director and editor for The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr. He researched and worked on “Lion in the Lobby: Clarence Mitchell Jr.’s Struggle for the Passage of Civil Rights Laws” for more than a decade, spending five years writing before publishing the biography in 1990. He has also published the first two volumes of “The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr.,” for which there will be nine total volumes—currently, he is working on the eighth volume. Through the research process, he has interviewed Mr. Mitchell and his wife, Juanita, multiple times. Aside from Mr. Mitchell himself, Mr. Watson cites his professor Mr. Vance, and the associate dean Mr. Roberts, as mentors in his career. In addition, Mr. Watson is a member of the American Historical Association and has served as a member of the board of trustees at the Freeport Memorial Library for more than 25 years.
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