Seymour Topping Named Administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes
NEW YORK (AP) _ Seymour Topping, a veteran newsman and former managing editor of The New York Times, has been named administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes, it was announced today.
Topping, currently director of editorial development of the Times Co.’s 31 regional newspapers, will step down from that position when he assumes his new post Nov. 1. He succeeds Robert C. Christopher, who served from 1981 until his death last June.
Michael I. Sovern, president of Columbia University, said in his announcement that Topping will also join the faculty of Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, which administers the prizes.
″Seymour Topping knows intimately the requisites of excellence. His enormous energy, knowledge and experience prepare him well for this crucial task,″ Sovern said in a statement. Topping said the Pulitzers ″serve to inspire service to our society and quality in our culture. We see all about us need for such incentives.″
The administrator supervises the selection of jurors for the 21 Pulitzer Prize categories in journalism, drama, letters and music and oversees their judging.
Topping, 71, is the current president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, and is active in a number of professional and industry groups promoting high journalistic standards.
He was a foreign correspondent, first for International News Service, and then for The Associated Press in China, Vietnam and Europe. He was chief of AP’s bureau in Berlin in 1959 when he joined the Times.
After serving on the Times’ metropolitan staff, he was chief correspondent in Moscow and then Southeast Asia. He became foreign editor in 1966, deputy managing editor in 1976 and managing editor in 1977. Ten years later, he was named to his present post.
Topping is the author of ″Journey Between Two Chinas.″