The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost presents
2017 Guy Stanton Ford Lecture Series Speaker
An American journalist, author, columnist, and a winner of two Pulitzer Prizes
"There is no one in journalism, anywhere in the United States at least, who has done anything like the work he has done to figure out how poor people are actually living around the world, and what their potential is."
— Bill Clinton, former president of the United States.
How good do you really have to be, to be christened the reporter’s reporter…by other reporters? You have to be Nicholas Kristof – good. After working in France, Kristof began backpacking in Africa and Asia, writing articles to cover his expenses. He’s lived on four continents, reported on six, and traveled to more than 150 countries. During his travels, he has caught malaria, experienced wars, confronted warlords, encountered an Indonesian mob carrying heads on pikes, and survived an African airplane crash. Kristof not only managed to survive and press on, he’s also won two Pulitzers in the process – advocating human rights and giving a voice, to the voiceless.
In 1990 Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, then also a New York Times journalist, became the first husband-wife team to win a Pulitzer Prize for journalism, for their coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square democracy movement. Kristof won his second Pulitzer in 2006 for what the judges called “his graphic, deeply reported columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur and that gave voice to the voiceless in other parts of the world.” Kristof and WuDunn have written four best-selling books: Half the Sky, A Path Appears, China Wakes, and Thunder from the East. Oprah Winfrey devoted two full programs to their work, and they have been on countless other television programs. In fact, Half the Sky and A Path Appears each inspired a prime-time PBS documentary series.
"The greatest threat to extremism isn't drones firing missiles, but girls reading books."
— Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer Prize-Winning New York Times Columnist.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa has described Kristof as an "honorary African" for shining a spotlight on neglected conflicts.Read More
Guy Stanton Ford, professor of history, was president of the University of Minnesota from 1938 to 1941. With his earlier service as graduate school dean, he helped to transform the University of Minnesota into one of the nation's top research and graduate institutions.
After his death in 1962, Ford's family, friends, and colleagues established an endowment fund for the Guy Stanton Ford Memorial Lecture. This lecture, now held once every two years, brings to the University of Minnesota distinguished scholars from many different areas of inquiry, reflecting Ford's own broad intellectual interests.