Thomas A. Johnson, the first black reporter at Newsday and later, at The New York Times, one of the first black journalists to work as a foreign correspondent for a major daily newspaper, died on Monday in Queens. He was 79.
His daughter Sondi Johnson announced the death, saying no specific cause had been determined. Mr. Johnson lived at the New York State Veterans Home in St. Albans, Queens.
Black reporters and editors were rarities in newsrooms of large American newspapers in the years in which Mr. Johnson's career gained prominence. From the civil rights protests and urban unrest of the 1960s through the rise of the black power movement and beyond, Mr. Johnson often found himself as both a reporter and an interpreter of racial conflict and change.