David Cay Johnston, long one of America's top investigative reporters, engages audiences with his tales of the people who are reshaping our economy and his plain English explanations of complex government policies and economic concepts and how they affect your pocketbook.
Johnston joined The New York Times in 1995 and in 2001 won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the U.S. tax code. He has been a finalist for the Pulitzer three other times since 2000. He is now examining how “deregulation” has reshaped the American economy.
During 12 years at the Los Angeles Times, 1976 to 1988, Johnston was the first reporter to seriously examine the Los Angeles Police Department, exposing its brutality, inefficiency and ineffectiveness and he once hunted down a murderer, winning freedom for an innocent man who was tried five times for the same crime. While at The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1988 through 1994, he broke the story that Donald Trump had a negative net worth. His book on the casino industry, Temples of Chance, accurately predicted the spread of legalized gambling and how regulation would protect not gamblers, but casino owners.
Johnston began his journalism career in 1968 at The San Jose Mercury News, where he covered student radicals, black politics and land development. As an investigative reporter at The Detroit Free Press in 1973 to 1976 his pioneering investigation of news blackouts and manipulations resulted in government forcing new ownership for in six broadcast stations.
Born in San Francisco on Dec. 24, 1948, Johnston studied economics at the University of Chicago. He also studied at Michigan State and San Francisco State and four other colleges.
Johnston lectures on topics such as how Enron and other large corporations get away with not paying taxes and how government policy helps the well-connected benefit at your expense. His 2004 best-selling book, Perfectly Legal, won a medal from Investigative Reporters and Editors as book of the year. It is used as a text at schools from Harvard to the University of Southern California. Congress enacted five laws addressing abuses exposed in Perfectly Legal.
His next book, about how government economic policy violates Adam Smith’s teachings, will be out in fall 2007 from Penguin/Portfolio. Its working title is Free Lunch: Who Is Getting Rich Off Government and Sticking You With The Bill.
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