David Burnham (born 1933) is an American investigative journalist and author based in Washington, D.C. He rose to prominence in 1970 while writing a series of articles for The New York Times on police corruption, which inspired the 1973 film Serpico. He is also known for writing a series of articles about labor union activist Karen Silkwood, who mysteriously died while en route to meet Burnham to share evidence that the nuclear facility where she worked knew that its workers were exposed to unhealthy levels of plutonium. He is currently the co-director of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a project of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
Awards and honors
- 1968: George Polk Award for Community Service
- 1972: Newspaper Reporters Association of New York City Schaefer Gold Typewriter Award for Public Service
- 1987: Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship
- 1990: Investigative Reporters and Editors Award for Best Book: A Law Unto Itself: Power, Politics, and the IRS
- 1992: Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship in Bellagio, Italy
- 2003: John Jay College of Criminal Justice Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humane Letters
- 2006: National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame Inductee
|Booknotes interview with Burnham on A Law Unto Itself, February 11, 1990, C-SPAN|
- The Rise of the Computer State. New York: Random House, 1983. ISBN 978-0394514376
- A Law Unto Itself: Power, Politics, and the IRS. New York: Random House, 1989. ISBN 978-0394560977
- Above the Law: Secret Deals, Political Fixes, and Other Misadventures of the U.S. Department of Justice. New York: Scribner, 1996. ISBN 978-0684806990
- "Graft Paid to Police Here Said to Run Into Millions." The New York Times, April 25, 1970.
- "Death of Plutonium Worker Questioned by Union Official." The New York Times, November 19, 1974.
- Sterling, Christopher H., ed. (2009-09-25). Encyclopedia of Journalism. SAGE Publications. ISBN 9781452261522.
- "David Burnham". S.I. Newhouse School Of Public Communications. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
- "George Polk Awards Past Award Winners". Long Island University. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
- "Times Reporter Wins Prize For Articles on Police Graft". The New York Times. 1972-05-20. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
- "David Burnham". Alicia Patterson Foundation. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
- "1990 IRE Award Winners". Investigative Reporters and Editors. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
- "Commencement 2015". John Jay College of Criminal Justice. 2015-06-03. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
- "David Burnham". First Amendment Center. Retrieved 2017-06-01.