The Daily Northwestern

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Daily Alumni

Source: Geraldine Baum


Geraldine Baum (Weinberg ’77) is the former New York and Paris bureau chief of the Los Angeles Times. She is now the senior vice president for communications and marketing at Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a nonprofit.

While at The Daily Northwestern, Baum was an associate editor her junior and senior years in charge of all “non-campus news.” She said her experience at The Daily — trying to find local angles in national and international news — prepared her for her 22 years of work as a national and foreign correspondent at the Los Angeles Times. Click for more


Bruce Dold (Medill ’77, ’78) has been slowly working his way up the ranks of the Chicago Tribune for nearly four decades.

Last year, he finally reached the top when the paper named him editor in chief. Dold, who used to write for The Daily Northwestern, was previously the Tribune’s editorial page editor, leading the paper to win dozens of national awards.

During his editorial tenure, Dold and the board pushed for ethical, transparent government in Chicago and across the state, and for expanding public school choice. In 2013, he helped launch the New Plan of Chicago, an editorial project that sought reader input to explore “the city’s intertwined challenges — failing schools, violent streets, faltering neighborhoods.” Click for more


Jack W. Fuller received the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing while serving as editorial page editor at the Chicago Tribune. Fuller, who died in 2016, made his way up the editorial ranks at the Tribune, retiring in 2004 as president of the Tribune Publishing Co.

Fuller was executive editor of The Daily Northwestern from 1967-68 before being drafted and sent to Vietnam. After returning to the U.S., he enrolled in Yale Law School and received a degree alongside classmate Bill Clinton. Click for more


Walter Kerr (Communication ’37, ’38) has a theater named after him on Broadway.

Well, actually it’s on 48th street, half a block from Manhattan’s famed thoroughfare. But it still reflects the influence of its namesake, currently housing the dreamy ode to youth “Amélie,” adapted for the stage from the metonymically French film.

What would Kerr say about the musical housed in his namesake? Click for more


Vincent Laforet (Medill ’97) began taking photos at the age of 15, capturing photos of weddings and bar mitzvahs with his father’s camera.

During his time in college, he worked as a sports photographer for The Daily Northwestern, despite knowing little about the subject. Because of his keen attention to detail and technical skill, Laforet later became The Daily’s photo editor.

After graduating from Northwestern, he was commissioned to work as a photojournalist for The New York Times. His features cover historical moments, ranging from Hurricane Katrina coverage to 9/11. Click for more


Though Jeff Lyon (Medill ’65) only took one science course in his time at Northwestern, years later he found himself picking the brains of biologists, surgeons and geneticists in an effort to wrap his head around the then-obscure field of gene therapy.

“Looking back on it, it was really the first time anybody had taken gene replacement, DNA replacement, very seriously,” Lyon said.

The reporting process, he said, required nearly two years, countrywide travel and a “re-education in good journalism.” The resulting seven-part series, which Lyon wrote with fellow Northwestern alumnus Peter Gorner (Communication ’64), ran in the Chicago Tribune with the title “Altered Fates, the Promise of Gene Therapy” and won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism. Click for more


Donal Henahan’s music criticism has been described as “provocative” by his own newspaper, The New York Times. For his work, he received the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for criticism.

Henahan, who died in 2012, wrote for The Times for almost 25 years. According to the New York newspaper, he reviewed operas, concerts and recitals for them and also published Sunday long-form essays on cultural issues. He retired from the section in 1991, after serving as chief music critic for 11 years. Click for more

Source: Stephen Hunter


Stephen Hunter (Medill ’68) published his first piece of criticism — a review of the 1967 “Bonnie and Clyde” movie — in The Northwestern Critic, a former monthly special edition of The Daily Northwestern. After graduating, Hunter went on to write criticism for The Baltimore Sun and The Washington Post, where he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for criticism.

Hunter was recruited to The Daily by the executive editor at the time, and said although he always thought he could be a critic, his time at The Daily allowed him to prove it. Click for more

Source: Charles Neubauer


Charles Neubauer (Medill ’72, ’73) received the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for a series of Chicago Tribune articles that dug into an abuse of funds in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Administration.

Neubauer’s work focused on HUD and FHA programs that encouraged single family homeownership. A lot of people would get homes and wouldn’t make payments, losing their property.

“Our series pretty much focused on how HUD was doing a really crummy job of maintaining the buildings,” he said. “So basically you had these empty buildings that just became homes in a middle of a neighborhood and they weren’t securing (the homes), the pipes were freezing…” Click for more

Source: Tom Philp


Tom Philp (Medill ’83) has more than 40 purple dress shirts — just enough to antagonize his boss, a University of Nebraska alumnus, nearly every day since Nebraska joined the Big 10 conference in 2011.

Philp, now an executive strategist at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. While working at The Sacramento Bee, he wrote a series of editorials about the Hetch Hetchy Valley.

In 1913, a Congressional act allowed for the flooding of the valley, and a dam completed 10 years later submerged the “twin” of Yosemite Valley to provide clean drinking water to San Francisco and surrounding areas. Click for more

Source: Brian Rosenthal


Brian Rosenthal (Medill ’11) won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting in 2015 as a part of the Seattle Times team that covered the 2014 Oso mudslide.

The mudslide killed 43 people and injured others. The Times team reported on the tragedy and rehabilitation efforts afterward, spending several months at the scene, starting in March 2014. Rosenthal was in Oso, Washington, for about a week, reporting on the victims and various politicians and agencies that came to help with the relief efforts. Click for more

Source: Steve Twomey


Becoming a journalist was the only thing Steve Twomey (Medill ’73) ever wanted to do. Since starting as a 16-year-old copyboy at the Chicago Tribune, Twomey’s journalism career has taken him all over the country, as well as overseas.

The Chicago native was stationed in Paris as a reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer when he wrote a profile about life on an aircraft carrier. Little did he know, the piece would win the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. Click for more

Source: Beth Whitehouse


Beth Whitehouse wasn’t expecting to go to work on the night of July 17, 1996.

Heavily pregnant, Whitehouse (Medill ’83) had just begun her maternity leave from Newsday, a daily newspaper in New York. But when a Boeing 747 exploded in midair minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport — killing all 230 people on board — Whitehouse offered to come back and help with the coverage.

Whitehouse and the rest of the Newsday staff would later win the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for spot news reporting for their coverage of the tragedy. Click for more


During her time at Northwestern, Lois Wille (Medill ’53, ’54) was “just a reporter” for The Daily Northwestern.

“My position was probably as lowly as you could get,” Wille said. “So many journalism students were reporters for The Daily Northwestern at that point.”

Wille would go on from being “just a reporter” at The Daily to receiving two Pulitzer Prizes throughout her storied career as a journalist. She began her career in 1956 at the now-defunct Chicago Daily News, where she reported on urban issues and local and state politics. Click for more