William Worthy, defiant global correspondent, dies

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 18, 2014 at 12:06 pm •  Published: May 18, 2014
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BOSTON (AP) — William Worthy, a foreign correspondent who defied travel bans to Cold War adversaries of the United States, has died. He was 92.

Worthy died May 4 at a nursing home in Brewster, Massachusetts, according to the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. He was a Nieman Foundation fellow from 1956 to 1957.

Worthy, a reporter for the Baltimore Afro-American and correspondent for CBS News, defied travel restrictions by traveling to China in the 1950s.

The government refused to renew his passport, so he visited Cuba in the early 1960s without one. On his return, he was convicted of entering the country illegally. A federal court later declared the law unconstitutional.

Worthy was born in Boston on July 7, 1921. After graduating from the Boston Latin School, Worthy earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, in 1942.

His case inspired folk singer Phil Ochs to celebrate him in "The Ballad of William Worthy."

"William Worthy isn't worthy to enter our door, He went down to Cuba, he's not American anymore. But somehow it is strange to hear the State Department say, 'You are living in the free world, in the free world you must stay,'" Ochs sang.