Nick Proffitt (’68) was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.
Nick Proffitt’s career surged through the turbulence of the 1960s and 1970s. As a Newsweek reporter he covered the Black Panthers and the Charles Manson murders. As a correspondent–and later the Newsweek bureau chief–in Vietnam, he covered the invasion of Laos in 1971 and North Vietnam’s 1972 Easter offensive. He was also in Vietnam in 1975 to cover the end of the war and the fall of Saigon, earning an Overseas Press Club award.
Newsweek’s Beirut bureau chief from 1973-76, Nick covered the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the assassination of King Faisal and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Next it was London, then Houston, both as bureau chief, and then back abroad to Nairobi from 1978-1981 where he was responsible for all sub-saharan Africa except South Africa. He reported on the Rhodesian war, the fall of Idi Amin in Uganda, and countless other human tragedies and outrages endemic to Africa. In 1980 he also covered the Iranian hostage crisis from Teheran.
Nick resigned from Newsweek in 1981 and turned to fiction writing. He had some stories to tell. From 1982-1990 he published three novels, “Garden of Stone” (made into a film by Francis Ford Coppola), “The Embassy House,” and “Edge of Eden.” More recently Nick wrote and edited an internet newsletter focusing on technical analysis of the stock market.
The Daily Wildcat city editor in 1966, Nick figured he was in line to become editor in chief. But when the Wildcat split that year from the journalism department, he decided to go out and get a “real” job–first at KOLD and then at the Daily Star. Between his junior and senior years, Nick interned at the Washington Post. One day an editor pulled him aside and told him he was the best trained intern the paper had ever had. Nick recalls replying that “any credit due belongs to four men: Sherman Miller, Philip Mangelsdorf, Don Carson and Brewster Campbell. That was the whole of the journalism department in my time, and I never meant anything more in my life.”
Nick is married to Martie (Hudson) Proffitt, also a UA grad with a journalism degree.