Saying she “inspired, educated and entertained readers for more than three decades,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas presented a scroll to Sandy Banks, who wrote her final column for the Los Angeles Times in December, after 36 years with the newspaper.
“Ms. Banks took us along for a journey in her 900-word columns on local and national issues, including health, education, foster care, criminal justice, politics and economic issues, and Los Angeles is all the better for it,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said during a ceremony honoring Banks at the Hall of Administration.
After receiving the scroll, Banks said, “It was a privilege to do the job. I came to see it as service.”
Banks joined the Times in 1979, and embarked on a career that included stints covering the education, religion, criminal justice and race relations beats. Aside from being as a reporter, she also served as an editorial writer, assistant metropolitan editor and director of the newspaper’s internship programs.
She was part of a team awarded the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
Banks, however, is best known for her twice-weekly personal columns on the forces that shape public conversations and impact private lives.
In her final column, published December 26, 2015, she wrote, “I was the kid who asked too many questions and left no thought unexpressed. I never dreamed I could get paid for doing what came naturally.”
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Banks has three grown daughters and lives in Northridge.