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Ken Armstrong

BA, 1985, Political Science

Investigative Reporter, "Seattle Times"  

During his time at the Seattle Times, Armstrong has written about illegally sealed court records, the MRSA pathogen’s unchecked rise, and a community’s complicity in protecting wayward athletes, among other subjects. He previously worked at the Chicago Tribune, where he co-wrote six series on criminal-justice issues, including an investigation of the death penalty that helped prompt the state’s governor to suspend executions and then empty Death Row. Five inmates profiled in that series were later freed; they were either pardoned based on innocence or had the charges against them dropped.

In 2009 Armstrong received the John Chancellor Award from Columbia University for lifetime achievement. He has been a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and the McGraw Professor of Writing at Princeton. He has won many of journalism’s top awards, including the George Polk, Worth Bingham and Michael Kelly, and is a four-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

He has written a book, Scoreboard, Baby, to be published in the fall of 2010. Written with Nick Perry, the book shows how a community’s blind embrace of a college football team compromised judges, prosecutors, police agencies, a proud university and the media.

After false starts in law school (University of Chicago) and the Peace Corps (Mauritania), he worked at newspapers in Colorado, Idaho, California, New York, Alaska, Virginia, Illinois and Washington.

He now lives in Seattle with his wife, Ramona Hattendorf, and their two children, Emmett, 11, and Meghan, 8.