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Alex Kotlowitz

Alex Kotlowitz

Senior Lecturer

For forty years, Medill Lecturer 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."

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 Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize for Nonfiction. His book on Chicago, "Never a City So Real," will soon be released in paperback.

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. His journalism honors – in all three mediums – include an Emmy, two Peabodys, two Columbia duPonts, a George Polk Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

A senior lecturer and writer-in-residence at Northwestern, Kotlowitz teaches courses on nonfiction storytelling, exploring the beauty and power of journalistic narrative. 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.

A graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, Kotlowitz grew up in New York City. 

Authored Works

  • "There Are No Children Here"
  • "The Other Side of the River"

Awards And Honors

  • Emmy
  • Two Peabodys
  • Two Columbia duPonts
  • George Polk Award  
  • Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award
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