I started in newspaper newsrooms, moved to magazines so I could write longer features, and then shifted into book writing. Today, I supplement book writing with freelance magazine features, newspaper op-ed pieces and book reviews. I’ve written on a wide variety of topics, including the biography of Bill Cosby, criminal justice, the environment and I have even written humor.
I am currently researching and writing a biography of Garry Trudeau, under contract to a major publisher.
My previously published books include:
- Taking on the Trust, a dual biography of Ida Tarbell and John D. Rockefeller (W.W. Norton, 2008);
- Trade Secrets of Washington Journalists, a guide to journalism in Washington, D.C. (Acropolis, 1981);
- Armand Hammer: The Untold Story, a biography of Armand Hammer (Little, Brown, 1989);
- Telling the Untold Story, a guide to reading and writing biography, (University of Missouri Press, 1992);
- The Reporter’s Handbook: An Investigator’s Guide to Documents and Techniques, published by St. Martin’s Press and commissioned by Investigative Reporters and Editors, 1996;
- A Journalism of Humanity, the centennial history of the Missouri School of Journalism, (University of Missouri Press, 2008).
Prior to retiring in 2010 to pay undivided attention to my freelance reporting and writing, I taught in-depth reporting/writing courses, courses related to covering the criminal justice system as part of an innocence project at the University of Missouri, and a reviewing/criticism course.
I graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism in 1970, returned later for a master’s degree and joined its faculty in 1978 as director of its Washington, D.C., reporting program. In 1983, I moved to Columbia, Mo., to serve as executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc., a professional organization with thousands of members that is headquartered at the School. I stepped aside as IRE executive director in 1990, and continue to contribute to IRE’s magazine as a writer and copyeditor.
I am the father of two grown children, one of whom graduated from the Missouri Journalism School in 2002.
807 West Boulevard South
Columbia, MO 65203