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William J. Eaton

A native of Chicago, William J. Eaton (BSJ51, MSJ52) covered crime and city hall news in Chicago post-graduation, before moving to Washington, D.C. to serve as Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Daily News.

While working for the Chicago Daily News, Eaton won the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting, for a series of stories that detailed the Senate’s rejection of Nixon’s Supreme Court nominee, Clement Haynsworth Jr. Eaton’s work also earned him a spot on Nixon’s Enemies List.

Following his Pulitzer win, Eaton joined the Washington bureau of the Los Angeles Times. He later became bureau chief in New Delhi and Moscow for the paper. It was during his time as a Moscow correspondent, from 1984 to 1988, that Eaton covered Mikhail Gorbachev’s reform process, perestroika, and the beginning of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. 

During his career in journalism, Eaton served as president of the National Press Club in Washington and chairman of the Standing Committee of Correspondents. He also held a Nieman fellowship at Harvard for the 1962-63 school year.

At the age of 74, in 2005, Eaton passed away at a hospice in Maryland.