Carl Rowan
PHOTO: U.S. Department of State


Carl Rowan was one of the most famous African-American journalists of all-time, but many people did not know that he was a Tennessean. He was born near McMinnville in 1925 and at first attended Tennessee State University. During World War II he became one of the first black people to ever become an officer in the U.S. Navy. After the war, he attended Oberlin College and then the University of Minnesota. He then moved into journalism and in 1965 he became the first African American with a nationally syndicated column. Many Americans today remember reading Rowan's columns and seeing him on national media shows such as "Meet the Press." He died in 2000.