For half a century journalist William Worthy forged a
path in the coverage of global events. Following a distinguished
performance in 1955 as a foreign correspondent in the Soviet Union
for CBS News and the Baltimore Afro American,
Worthy, then a
35-year-old Nieman Fellow at Harvard, slipped into China in 1956–57
to report for 41 days in defiance of a U.S. travel ban. Upon his
return home, the State Department denied him a new passport when he
refused to promise that he would curtail future travel.
Without a passport, Worthy traveled in l961 to forbidden Cuba.
After four visits — from which he reported and helped to produce an
ABC–TV documentary, "Yanki, No!" — his own government tried and
sentenced him to jail. When a federal appeals court unanimously
overturned his conviction in l964, ruling travel restrictions to be
unconstitutional, Worthy was still journeying — without benefit of
passport — throughout Southeast Asia.
In 1981, after returning from a CBS assignment in Iran, Worthy
and two colleagues won $16,000 in Fourth Amendment damages from the
FBI and CIA for confiscating from their baggage at the Boston
airport Iranian paperback reprints of classified CIA documents,
seized when Iranian students took over the U.S. embassy in Teheran
Currently, Worthy serves as special assistant to the dean of the
School of Communications at Howard University, where he taught
between 1990 and 1993 as Annenberg Distinguished Visiting