Alex Tizon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Alex Tizon
Born Tomas Alexander Tizon
(1959-10-30)October 30, 1959
Manila, Philippines
Died March 23, 2017(2017-03-23) (aged 57)
Eugene, Oregon
Occupation Author, professor (University of Oregon)
Citizenship United States and Philippines
Alma mater University of Oregon
Stanford University
Notable works Big Little Man
Notable awards Anthony J. Lukas Book Prize, 2011,[1] International Journalism Fellowship, 2009,[2] Knight I Jefferson Fellowship, 1998, Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Journalism, 1997[3]

Alex Tizon (October 30, 1959 – March 23, 2017) was an American author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.[4] His book Big Little Man, a memoir and cultural history, explores themes related to race, masculinity, and personal identity.[5] He taught at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.[6]


Tizon was born Tomas Alexander Asuncion Tizon in Manila, Philippines on October 30, 1959, the second of nine children. He immigrated with his family in 1964 as part of the first big wave of Asian immigration to the United States in the modern era. His childhood was marked by financial hardship and constant moving. Through twelve grades, he attended eight schools from Honolulu to New York City. He earned degrees from the University of Oregon and Stanford.[6]


As a reporter for the Seattle Times, he and two colleagues won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for a five-part series about fraud and mismanagement in the Federal Indian Housing Program.[7] He was only the second Philippine-born journalist to win a Pulitzer. The first was Carlos Romulo in 1949.[8]

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Tizon and photographer Alan Berner drove from Seattle to Ground Zero in New York City, chronicling their journey with a multi-part series called "Crossing America – Dispatches From a New Nation," which explored the changes brought upon by the attacks.[9] In 2002, he and Berner made another trip to Ground Zero, this time taking a southern route, and produced the series, "Crossing America – One Year Later."[10]

Tizon was Seattle Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times from 2003 to 2008.[6] He was a Knight International Journalism Fellow based in Manila in 2009 and 2010[11]

Big Little Man[edit]

He expanded upon his journalistic themes—exiles, immigrants, social outcasts, people searching for identity or purpose—in a personal way in his book Big Little Man: In Search of My Asian Self. Tizon told his own story as a first-generation immigrant and an Asian male growing up in the United States to examine cultural mythologies related to race and gender, in particular the Western stereotypes of Asian men and women.[5] The book won the 2011 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize Work-In-Progress Award, sponsored by Columbia University and the Nieman Foundation at Harvard.[12]


Alex Tizon was found dead in his home in Eugene, Oregon, on March 23, 2017. He was 57. His death appeared to be the result of natural causes.[13]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "The 1997 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Investigative Reporting" The Pulitzer Prizes. 1997. Accessed May 12, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Big Little Man: In Search of my Asian Self". Publishers Weekly. Reviewed on March 10, 2014. Accessed May 12, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "Alex Tizon: Assistant Professor in Journalism." University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications. Accessed May 12, 2014.
  7. ^ Chuck Taylor. "Times Wins Two Pulitzer Prizes -- Boeing, Tribal Housing Stories Earn Awards" The Seattle Times. April 7, 1997. Accessed May 12, 2014.
  8. ^ "Carlos P. Romulo Wikipedia Page" Wikipedia. Accessed May 17, 2014.
  9. ^ Chip Scanlan. "The Power of Serendipity: Alex Tizon’s Journey" Poynter. Published July 31, 2002, Updated March 2, 2011. Accessed May 18, 2014.
  10. ^ Alex Tizon. "Crossing America: One Year Later" the Seattle Times August 25 – September 15, 2002. Accessed May 18, 2014.
  11. ^ "Alex Tizon: Knight International Journalism Fellow, Philippines" ICFJ 30 Years, International Center for Journalists Advancing Quality Journalism Worldwide. 2013. Accessed May 17, 2014.
  12. ^ Arlene Morgan and Clare Oh. "Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard Announce Winners of the 2011 Lukas Prize Project Awards for Exceptional Works of Nonfiction" Columbia Journalism School. Page 2. Accessed May 17, 2014.
  13. ^ "Alex Tizon, Pulitzer Prize winner and Oregon journalism professor, dies at 58". Retrieved March 25, 2017.