The Press: Muckraker's Progress

The fact that J. Edgar Hoover addressed his complaints about The Orangeburg Massacre only to Jack Bass is no mere coincidence. The FBI stopped talking to Jack Nelson last year—an acknowledgment of his more than 20 years of extraordinary muckraking in the South.

Nelson began the practice as soon as he got out of high school in Biloxi, Miss., in 1947. As a reporter for the Biloxi Daily Herald, he probed the city's gambling so effectively that it was finally investigated by Senator Estes Kefauver's peripatetic investigating committee. In 1953, at the Atlanta Constitution,...