Michael Vitez

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Michael Vitez
Born (1957-04-11) April 11, 1957 (age 57)
United States Washington, D.C., U.S.
Alma mater University of Michigan
Occupation Journalist, author, columnist
Spouse(s) Maureen Fitzgerald
Children 3 children

Michael Vitez is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and published author.

Vitez has written for the Philadelphia Inquirer since 1985 and is known for his human-interest stories. In 1997, Vitez, along with Inquirer photographers April Saul and Ron Cortes, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Journalism for a series of articles he wrote on end-of-life care, telling the stories of terminally ill patients who wished to die with dignity.[1]

Biography[edit]

Vitez was born on April 11, 1957, in Washington, DC and grew up in northern Virginia. After graduating from the University of Virginia in 1979, Vitez found positions at a series of middle-sized newspapers, including the Virginian-Pilot/Ledger Star, the Washington Star, and the Hartford Courant before being offered and accepting a position at the Inquirer in 1985.[2]

In Philadelphia, Vitez has had a long career as a general-assignment features writer. After completing a year as a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan in 1994/1995, Vitez began to focus on aging, which persisted after his 1997 Pulitzer Prize win. He has written extensively on the murder-rate in Philadelphia, gun control, along with softer, more community-oriented pieces [2]. As a result of the work he did which lead to his Pulitzer Prize win, Vitez wrote 'Final Choices,' a book focusing on individuals in pursuit of a noble death that was published in January 1998. In November 2006, Vitez published 'Rocky Stories,' which was a collection of stories about people who came to Philadelphia to run the famous steps at the Philadelphia Art Museum. The book, which featured glossy, color photos by Inquirer photographer and fellow Pulitzer Prize-winner Tom Gralish, features an introduction by the star of the Rocky movies, Sylvester Stallone. Vitez appeared briefly (uncredited) at the end of the movie Rocky Balboa (film).

In 1997, Vitez said of his interests that he tries "to celebrate ordinary people around us by showing how ordinary people sometimes do extraordinary things".[2]

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