June 13, 1953 |
|Education||University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A. 1976)|
Los Angeles Times
|Notable awards||Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing (2002)
Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Reporting (staff, 1993)
|Spouse||Pamela Jean Sipchen|
Bob Sipchen (born June 13, 1953) is an American journalist and writer, currently the Communications Director of the Sierra Club, America's oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. Sipchen writes for and serves as Editor-in-Chief of  Sierra magazine, a national publication with a circulation of approximately 600,000. When he was Associate Editor of the Los Angeles Times editorial pages, he and colleague Alex Raskin won the annual Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing citing "their comprehensive and powerfully written editorials exploring the issues and dilemmas provoked by mentally ill people dwelling on the streets." Sipchen was also a member of the LA Times team that covered the 1992 Los Angeles riots and won the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Reporting in 1993.
Early life and education
Sipchen was born in Chicago. He paid his way through college as a hotshot wildland firefighter and patrolman with the U.S. Forest Service, was graduated cum laude from the University of California, Santa Barbara, which granted him the school's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006. At UCSB he was a student and protégé of influential journalist and educator Barry Farrell.
Career at the Los Angeles Times
His career at the Times included serving as editor of the Sunday Opinion section and senior editor of the Times's Sunday magazine He led the team of journalists that created the newspaper's popular Outdoors section in print and on the web. As a reporter he covered the riots that erupted in Los Angeles following the trial of police officers involved in the beating of motorist Rodney King and shared in the newspaper's Pulitzer Prize for that reportage. Sipchen published the first profile of Reginald Denny, the motorist whose televised beating on the corner of Florence and Normandy became an icon of the inchoate rage vented during the riots.
Sipchen also wrote about cultural issues, politics, covered a presidential campaign, and wrote a column for the Times about the magazine industry. In 1997, Sipchen loaded his wife and three children (Ashley Rose-Anna Sipchen, Emily Sage Sipchen, Robert John Sipchen III) into a 26-foot motorhome and drove 22,000 miles through 46 states, including Alaska, writing twice-a-week columns about the state of the American family. In 2003, he wrote a personal essay about watching Southern California's devastating wildfires destroy his childhood home In 2006 he created the "School Me" column and multimedia "School Me!" blog which explored education issues.
Sipchen left the Los Angeles Times in 2007 to edit the 110-year-old Sierra magazine. In 2009 he was promoted to Communications Director for the organization, overseeing a national staff of more than 60 multimedia professionals responsible for the Club's messaging, branding, advocacy journalism, social media communications, press relations and public affairs.
An adjunct professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles since 1997, Sipchen teaches news writing in the fall and narrative non-fiction in the spring, using a team teaching approach that has included as many as eight Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists in a calendar year.
Sipchen served on the advisory committee of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, based at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Besides his newspaper articles and columns, Sipchen has written for many national magazines. He has written one published book, Baby Insane and the Buddha (Doubleday, 1992, ISBN 978-0-385-41997-0), a nonfiction account of gang violence in southern California. A New York Times book review called it "first rate [...] Sipchen's supple, muscular prose gives the book the sweep and narrative pacing of a novel."
- "The 2002 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Editorial Writing". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2013-11-18. With list of biographical facts and reprints of ten works (LA Times articles April 23 to November 22, 2001).
- Sipchen L.A. Times website.[dead link]
- "Baby insane and the buddha". Library of Congress Catalog Record. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
- Information from the Amazon.com website