David Lawrence Jr.
President, The Early Childhood Initiative Foundation Chair, The Children's Movement
David Lawrence Jr. retired in 1999 as publisher of The Miami Herald to work in the area of early childhood development and readiness. He is president of The Early Childhood Initiative Foundation. He leads The Children’s Movement of Florida, aimed at making children the state’s top priority for investment and decision-making. In 2002 and 2008 he led successful campaigns for The Children’s Trust, a dedicated source of early intervention and prevention funding for children in Miami-Dade. In 2002, he was a key figure in passing a statewide constitutional amendment to provide pre-K for all 4-year olds. The David Lawrence Jr. K-8 Public School opened in 2006. He holds 12 honorary doctorates and his writing awards include the First Amendment Award from the Scripps Howard Foundation. He is Education and Community Leadership Scholar at the University of Miami School of Education & Human Development.
Before coming to Miami in 1989, Mr. Lawrence was publisher and executive editor of the Detroit Free Press. Previously he was editor of the Charlotte Observer, and earlier in reporting and editing positions at four newspapers. During his tenure as Miami Herald publisher, the paper won five Pulitzer Prizes. Mr. Lawrence is a graduate of the University of Florida and from the Advanced Management program at the Harvard Business School. In 1988, he was honored with Knight-Ridder’s top award, the John S. Knight Gold Medal.