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Alex Kotlowitz

Alex Kotlowitz


Phone:847-491-3952Office: Fisk 201D

For years, Medill Professor Alex Kotlowitz has been telling stories from the heart of America, deeply intimate tales of struggle and perseverance. He is the author of four books, including his most recent, "An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago" which received the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize.

His other books include the national bestseller "There Are No Children Here," which the New York Public Library selected as one of the 150 most important books of the twentieth century. It received the Helen B. Bernstein Award and was adapted as a television movie produced by and starring Oprah Winfrey. It was selected by The New York Times as a Notable Book of the Year along with his second book, "The Other Side of the River," which also received The Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize for Nonfiction. 

A former staff writer for The Wall Street Journal, Kotlowitz’s work has appeared in numerous anthologies and in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and on public radio’s This American Life. His documentary work includes The Interrupters, which premiered at Sundance and aired as a two-hour special on PBS’s FRONTLINE. He's been honored in all three mediums, including an Emmy, two Peabodys, a George Polk Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. He’s also been honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his books which “illuminate astonishing national inequities through the lens of individual experience.”

Kotlowitz teaches courses on nonfiction storytelling, exploring the beauty and power of journalistic narrative. His classes include Journalism of Empathy, Oral History as Journalism and Magazine and Feature Writing. He has also taught at the University of Notre Dame, Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago. He is the recipient of eight honorary degrees.