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Solomon B. Watson IV

MLRC First Amendment Leadership Award Recipient, 2006

SolWatsonPhoto2Solomon B. Watson IV became senior vice president and chief legal officer of The New York Times Company in January 2006, after serving as general counsel of the company from February 1989 until December 2005.  He was named a vice president of the company in April 1990, and senior vice president in November 1996. Mr. Watson joined the legal department of the Times Company in December 1974, becoming assistant secretary of the company in December 1976 and secretary in July 1979.  He was named assistant general counsel in 1984.

Mr. Watson is a member of the New York and Massachusetts bars, and has been admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.  He was an associate in the Boston law firm of Bingham, Dana & Gould before joining the Times Company.  His professional affiliations include the American Bar Association (Task Force on Corporate Responsibility and Committee of Corporate General Counsel), the National Bar Association, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and the Legal Affairs Committee of the Newspaper Association of America.

Mr. Watson, a 1988 graduate of the Amos Tuck Executive Program, received the 1999 Distinguished Service Award from the Greater New York Chapter of American Corporate Counsel Association and the 1998 Pioneer of the Profession Award from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.  He is a member of One Hundred Black Men, Inc., and was a member of the Advisory Board of the Agent Orange Settlement Fund.  The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. presented Mr. Watson with its National Equal Justice Award in November 2002, and in October 2003 he was included in Black Enterprise magazine’s list of America’s Top Black Lawyers.

Mr. Watson graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in English from Howard University in 1966, and served in the Army as a lieutenant in the military police corps from 1966 to 1968.  While stationed in Vietnam, he was awarded the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medals.  In 1971, he earned his juris doctorate degree from Harvard Law School.

Mr. Watson was born on April 14, 1944, in Salem, New Jersey.  He is married to Brenda J. Watson, formerly a director in the Human Resources Department of The New York Times, and has two children: Kira, a lawyer, and Katitti, an elementary school teacher.  An avid saltwater fly fisherman, he is a member of The Anglers’ Club of New York.

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