Gregory Kane, former Baltimore newspaper columnist, dies at 62

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BALTIMORE–Gregory P. Kane, former columnist for the Baltimore Sun and other area newspapers, died of cancer Tuesday at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was 62.

Kane’s career at the Sun began in January of 1984 when an op-ed piece he wrote about Martin Luther King Jr. appeared on The Evening Sun’s Other Voices page. He continued to write free-lance for the Sunpapers for the next nine and a half years until he was hired full-time in August of 1993.

In addition to writing nearly 300 pieces during his free-lance period, Kane’s work has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Atlanta Constitution, the Foreign Service Journal and Emerge and Headway magazines.

He was a graduate of his hometown’s most prestigious high school — Baltimore City College c/o ‘69 — and graduated from the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland in 1978. Kane attended college at Franklin and Marshall, the University of Maryland, Towson University and American University.

Kane was a 1996 and 1997 winner of the Headliners Award from the Press Club of Atlantic City and won the 1996 award for outstanding column writing from the Maryland chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Baltimore Magazine named him the city’s best columnist in 1996 and 1997. Along with Sun reporter Gilbert Lewthwaite, Kane was a finalist for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize in the explanatory journalism category for a three-part series about slavery in the Sudan. Both men won the Overseas Press Club Award for best reporting on human rights and the Times Mirror Journalist of the Year Award — as well as an award from the National Association of Black Journalists — for the same series.

Kane was a visiting professor in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and the author of “Raising Kane” — a compilation of his Sun columns —that was published in 2001. He had also done work for the Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies, which is located on the campus of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical Institute in Greensboro, N.C.

In 2003 Kane visited Grenada as part of the Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies’ reporting team covering the 20th anniversary of the U.S. military intervention in that country. He had also visited Panama and Brazil and done reporting and editing for the second installment of the IFAJS series “Africans in the Americas.”

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Other IFAJS projects Kane worked on include a report on the 40th anniversary of the release of the Kerner Commission Report and a series of stories highlighting the achievements of young Black men. As part of an IFJAS team, Kane visited Cuba three times and wrote reports about life on the island.

In August of 2008, Kane began a twice-weekly column at The Baltimore Examiner, a position he held until the paper ceased publication in February of 2009. Editors at the Washington Examiner picked up the twice-weekly column. Kane also wrote a weekly opinion column for blackamericaweb.com, a news Web site co-owned by Radio One and radio personality Tom Joyner and for a local weekly called the Baltimore Times.

Survivors include his wife of nearly 30 years, Veronica White Kane; a daughter Jennifer White Cherry; a son, Ray Chapman Sr.; a brother, Michael A. Kane; a sister, Margaret Torrence, all of Baltimore; and seven grandchildren.

Plans for a memorial service are incomplete at this time. In leiu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Baltimore City College Alumni Association.

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