Newsday Journalist, Pulitzer Prize Winner Les Payne Dies at 76 Tiffany Hopkins March 20, 2018 Digital Entertainment, News Longtime Newsday journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Les Payne has unexpectedly passed at the age of 76. According to reports, he suffered a heart attack at his home in Harlem. Payne’s family confirmed his death to Newsday, where he worked for nearly four decades. During his time at the publication, he earned the Pulitzer in 1974 for “The Heroin Trail,” a 33-part series where he worked with a team of reporters in following the drug’s growth in Turkey all the way to its abundance and impact on American streets. The Tuscaloosa, Alabama native was educated at the University of Connecticut, and was a founding member and former president of the National Association of Black Journalists. This past November, he was inducted into the Deadline Club’s journalism Hall of Fame.