2016 Alumni Hall of Fame Honoree

Solomon Jones, an award-winning journalist and critically acclaimed author, is a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News and morning host for 900 AM WURD Radio. Jones, a frequent contributor for WHYY, has appeared nationally on CNN, Nightline, NPR’s Morning Edition, and Nancy Grace. The story of his rise from homelessness was featured in a Verizon advertising campaign, which spotlighted successful entrepreneurs who overcame adversity.
Jones began his journalism career in 1993, penning articles for the Philadelphia Tribune while living at the Ridge Avenue Shelter. During that time, he returned to Temple University to earn the journalism degree he’d begun years earlier. As a Temple student, Jones wrote his first novel, and his articles appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia magazine. Jones not only developed his passion for writing during that crucial time. He also fell in love with fellow student LaVeta Hewlett. The two would later marry.

Jones graduated in 1998 with a journalism B.A.. Three years later, Random House published his debut novel, “Pipe Dream”. St. Martin’s Press published his subsequent novels, “The Bridge”, “Ride or Die”, “C.R.E.A.M.”, “Payback”, “The Last Confession”, “The Gravedigger’s Ball”, and “The Dead Man’s Wife”. In addition to contributing to two short story collections, Jones is the author of two self-published humor collections, “Keeping Up With The Jones”, and “Daddy’s Home”.

Jones, who taught creative writing as an adjunct at Temple University, also created a writing and literacy program called Words on the Street, worked with the Philadelphia School District on the Read For Your Life initiative and served on the board of the Philadelphia Committee to End Homelessness.

In addition to being named one of 50 writers to represent Philadelphia’s literary tradition by the City of Philadelphia, Jones received the Knight Foundation’s “Black Male Leadership Award,” Community College of Philadelphia’s “Distinguished Leadership Award,” and the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists’ “Online Journalist of the Year Award”.