Hopkins, Mark W. 1931-2006

views updated

Hopkins, Mark W. 1931-2006
(Mark Wyatt Hopkins)


See index for CA sketch: Born June 29, 1931, in Peoria, IL; died of complications from liver cancer, September 25, 2006, in Washington, DC. Journalist and author. Hopkins was a respected reporter for the Voice of America (VOA), covering such historical events as the massacre at Tiananmen Square and the collapse of the Soviet Union. After serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1951 to 1955, he graduated from Middlebury College, then earned a master's in journalism from the University of Wisconsin in 1958. Hopkins worked for the Milwaukee Journal until 1962, then earned a journalism certificate from the University of Leningrad, where he was a Ford Foundation fellow from 1963 to 1964. Specializing in Soviet and East European affairs, he returned to the Milwaukee Journal for the rest of the 1960s before joining the VOA in 1971. Hopkins established the first Eastern Bloc bureau for the VOA, which was located in Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia (now Serbia). Hopkins's expertise in the Soviet Union led to his books Mass Media in the Soviet Union (1970) and Russia's Underground Press: The Chronicle of Current Events (1983). Hopkins left Europe for China in 1982 and established the VOA's first Beijing bureau. He learned to speak Chinese and led the Beijing office until 1988. He was compelled to return the China the next year, though, when he and other American reporters tried to cover the Tiananmen Square incident, where Chinese troops killed student protestors. Hopkins and his colleagues were quickly thrown out of the country, and Western media never found out how many students were slain. Hopkins soon returned to Eastern Europe, where the Soviet Union was beginning to crumble. When a coup was attempted against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbechev, Hopkins covered the story, winning an Overseas Press Club award for his work. Continuing to work until 1996, Hopkins spent his last two years as London News Center chief for the VOA. After he retired, he was an ombudsman for the VOA for one more year.



Washington Post, October 11, 2006, p. B7.

About this article

Hopkins, Mark W. 1931-2006

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article