Charlayne Hunter-Gault is an award-winning journalist with more than 40 years in the industry, extending her work at various times to all media.
She is the author of three books—the latest –To the Mountaintop: My Journey Through the Civil Rights Movement,” a historical narrative for young readers grade nine and up ,published in 2012 by The New York Times and Roaring Brook Press. Her other two books are , New News Out of Africa: Uncovering the African Renaissance, Oxford University Press and “In My Place, “ a memoir of the Civil Rights Movement, fashioned around her experiences as the first black woman to attend the University of Georgia, published by Farrar Strauss and Giroux and in paperback by Vintage Press.
In 2005, she returned to NPR as a Special Correspondent after six years as CNN's Johannesburg bureau chief and correspondent. She joined CNN in April 1999 from National Public Radio, where she worked as the network's chief correspondent in Africa and was awarded a Peabody in 1998 for her coverage of the continent.
Hunter-Gault joined NPR in 1997 after 20 years with PBS, where she worked as a national correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. She began her journalism career as a reporter for The New Yorker; then worked as a local news anchor for WRC-TV in Washington, D.C.; and as the Harlem bureau chief for The New York Times. She is currently Africa Bureau Chief for Essence magazine and on the board of and a frequent contributor to The Root.
Her numerous honors include two Emmy awards and two other Peabody awards—the first for her work on "Apartheid's People," a NewsHour series about South African life during apartheid. Over the years, she has been the recipient of numerous other awards and citations from the National Association of Black Journalists, including for her CNN series on Zimabawe; the Sidney Hillman Foundation , the American Women in Radio and Television , the Good Housekeeping Broadcast Personality of the Year and Amnesty International for her Human Rights reporting, especially her PBS Series, Rights and Wrongs, a Human Rights Television magazine . In August, 2005, she was inducted in the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame. In 2011, she received the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award.
Hunter-Gault is a sought after public speaker, holds some three dozen honorary degrees and is on the board of The Carter Center, the Peabody Awards., The Committee to Protect Journalists and the African Media Initiative, a project aimed at promoting the highest ethical standards and business practices , as well as quality journalism on the African continent. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
In 2010, she received the D. C. Choral Arts Society Humanitarian and in 2011, she was honored with both the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award and the W. Haywood Burns award from New York’s Neighborhood Defender Service.
Hunter-Gault is married to businessman Ronald T. Gault and has two adult children, Suesan, an artist and Chuma, an actor. Hunter –Gault divides her time between two homes—one in Johannesburg, South Africa, the other on Martha’s Vineyard.