Nicholas D. Kristof
The New York Times
Through his columns, he has pricked the conscience of the nation on issues ranging from child mortality to human trafficking to war. He was among the first to raise doubts about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, among the first to warn that the U.S. was losing ground to the Taliban in Afghanistan, and he played a singular role in focusing international attention on the brutal genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. A 1997 article he wrote on child deaths in the developing world inspired Bill and Melinda Gates to focus their charitable work on global health.
Kristof’s work has earned a long list of accolades. In 1990, he and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, then also a Times journalist, won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of China's Tiananmen Square democracy movement. Kristof won a second Pulitzer in 2006, for commentary for what the judges called "his graphic, deeply reported columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur and that gave voice to the voiceless in other parts of the world."
Kristof joined The Times in 1984, initially covering economics, and later serving as a Times correspondent in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo. He also covered presidential politics and is the author of the chapter on President George W. Bush in the reference book “The Presidents.” He later was associate managing editor of the Times, responsible for Sunday editions.
In addition to his two Pulitzers, Kristof has also won other prizes including a George Polk Award, an Overseas Press Club Award, a Michael Kelly Award, an Online News Association Award and an American Society of Newspaper Editors Award.
Kristof and WuDunn are the authors of three books: "China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power," "Thunder from the East: Portrait of a Rising Asia," and "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide."
He has lived on four continents, reported on six, and traveled to more than 150 countries, plus all 50 states. He grew up on a sheep and cherry farm in Oregon, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College and then studied law at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. He later studied Arabic in Cairo and Chinese in Taipei. While working in France after high school, he caught the travel bug and began backpacking around Africa and Asia during his student years, writing articles to cover his expenses.
Follow him @NickKristof.