Richard Read

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For those of a similar name, see Richard Reid (disambiguation).

Richard Read (born 1957) is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and a senior staff writer for The Oregonian newspaper in Portland, Oregon.

Early life[edit]

Read was born in St Andrews, Scotland to Katharine Read and Arthur Hinton Read, a mountaineer and St. Andrews University mathematics professor who worked during World War II for the Government Code and Cypher School that cracked the codes in Germany's Enigma machine. Raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Read graduated from Amherst College in 1980 and worked for a Massachusetts crime commission before moving to Portland, Oregon to become a reporter for The Oregonian.[1]

In 1986, Read was a Henry Luce Scholar in Bangkok, Thailand, working for a year as a reporter for The Nation, a Thai newspaper. Read moved in 1987 to Japan, where he freelanced for The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Euromoney and the Yomiuri Shimbun. Read became the first foreign correspondent for a Pacific Northwest newspaper when he opened The Oregonian’s Asia Bureau in Tokyo in 1989. He served on the board of the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan. He returned to America in 1994.[citation needed]

In 1996-1997, Read was a Nieman Foundation fellow at Harvard University. He was selected by the Eisenhower Fellowships for a month's reporting in Peru in 1997, interviewing President Alberto Fujimori.[2] > He reported in North Korea in 1989 and 2009. In fall 2013, Read and photographer Jamie Francis reported in Jordan and Lebanon on the plight of Syrian refugees.


Read won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting in 1999 for a series that dramatized the global effects of the Asian financial crisis through the movement of a container of french fries from a Washington-state farm to a McDonald's restaurant in Singapore.[3] The series also received the Overseas Press Club award for best business reporting from abroad, and the Scripps Howard Foundation award for business reporting, and the Blethen award for enterprise reporting.[4][5]

In 2000 he received the Oregon governor’s award for achievement in international business, and in 1999 and 2002 he was named the state’s international citizen of the year. In 2003, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Willamette University.[6]

In 2001, he was one of four reporters on a team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2001 for stories on the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.[7] The team also received the Bruce Baer award for investigative reporting, the Unity Media Award and the American Immigration Lawyers Association media leadership award.

In 2008, Read was a member of a team named as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting.[8] He won first-place awards for reporting on social issues (2001,2005), business (1998, 2004, 2011), spot news (1997), education (1990) from the Pacific Northwest Society of Professional Journalists.[9] [10]

In 2011, he won first place for Best of the West business and financial reporting.[11] In 2012, he won first place for best feature story/personality from the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association.[12]

Quoted in "Pulitzer's Gold: Behind the Prize for Public Service Journalism," by Roy J. Harris.[13] Approach as a foreign correspondent described in "Journalism's Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting," by John Maxwell Hamilton.[14] Approach as a narrative writer described in "Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction," by Jack R. Hart.[15] Reporting approach described in "A Writer's Coach: An Editor's Guide to Words That Work," by Jack R. Hart.[16]

Other work[edit]

From 2007-2008, he was president of the Board of Directors of The International School, a full-immersion language elementary school in Portland.[17] Read lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon.[18]


  1. ^ "Richard Read, The Oregonian". The Oregonian. Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Eisenhower Fellowships 10/2005". Eisenhower Fellowships. 
  3. ^ "The 1999 Pulitzer Prize Winners:Explanatory Reporting". Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Foundation Announces National Journalism Awards Winners". 
  5. ^ "Times' Reporters land-swap series wins Blethen award". 
  6. ^ "Willamette University Holds 145th Commencement". Willamette University. 2003-05-13. Retrieved 2012-12-30. 
  7. ^ "The 2001 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Public Service". Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  8. ^ "The 1999 Pulitzer Prize Winners:Explanatory Reporting". Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  9. ^ "2005 Society of Professional Journalists Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism" (PDF). 
  10. ^ "The Oregonian wins 12 first-place awards in regional competition". 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "2012 Better Newspaper Contest :: Winning entry". Retrieved 2012-12-30. 
  13. ^ Roy J. Harris (1 January 2008). Pulitzer's Gold: Behind the Prize for Public Service Journalism. University of Missouri Press. pp. 447–. ISBN 978-0-8262-1768-4. 
  14. ^ John Maxwell Hamilton. Journalism's Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting. Louisiana State University Press. pp. 473–. ISBN 978-0-80713474-0. 
  15. ^ Jack R. Hart. Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction. University of Chicago Press. pp. 2,4,150,173,183,192,195,199,201,243,250,251,263–. ISBN 978-0-226-31814-1. 
  16. ^ Jack R. Hart. A Writer's Coach: An Editor's Guide to Words That Work. Anchor. ISBN 1400078695. 
  17. ^ "The International School Fundraising Report, 2007" (PDF). The International School. June 2007. Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Lake Oswego Corporation". Retrieved 2012-12-30.