Sonia Nazario

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Sonia Nazario (born September 8, 1960 in Madison, Wisconsin) is an American journalist mostly known for her work at Los Angeles Times. She has written about social issues for more than two decades, most recently as a projects reporter for the Times. She holds the distinctions of winning the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing,[1] and of being the youngest writer to be hired by the Wall Street Journal. She is currently working on her second book as well as traveling around the country speaking on the issue of unaccompanied immigrant children.

Early life and education[edit]

Nazario was born in Madison, Wisconsin,[2] but grew up both in Kansas and Argentina. She permanently moved to the United States during the Dirty War in Argentina.[3]

Nazario is a graduate of Williams College and holds a master's degree in Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She received an honorary doctorate in 2010 from Mount St. Mary's College.[4]

Non-profit work[edit]

Nazario serves on the advisory boards of the University of North Texas Mayborn Literary Non-fiction Writer's Conference and of Catch the Next, a non-profit working to double the number of Latinos enrolling in college. She is also on the board of Kids In Need of Defense, a non-profit launched by Microsoft and Angelina Jolie to provide pro-bono attorneys to unaccompanied immigrant children.[citation needed]


In 1993, Nazario left the Wall Street Journal for a second time and joined the Los Angeles Times to write about social issues, including those dealing with Latinos and Latin America. The following year, she won a George Polk Award for Local Reporting for a series about hunger among schoolchildren in California.[citation needed]

In 1998, Nazario was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for her story about what life was like for the children of drug addicts. Her photographer for the project, Clarence Williams, won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for photos taken to accompany the story.[citation needed]

In 2002, Nazario finished work on a six-part series, entitled "Enrique's Journey", about the experiences of Latin American children who immigrate to join their parents in the U.S. The newspaper series won more than a dozen national journalism awards, among them the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing, the George Polk Award for International Reporting, the Grand Prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Guillermo Martinez-Marquez Award for Overall Excellence. The story also garnered the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for her accompanying photographer, Don Bartletti.[citation needed]

In 2006, Nazario published a book, Enrique's Journey, which significantly expanded her newspaper series. It became a national bestseller and won two book awards. It has been published in eight languages and has been adopted by 54 universities and scores of high schools nationwide as their "freshman read" or "all-campus read." In the fall of 2010, it was the second most-chosen book for freshman or all-campus reads at universities across the country.[citation needed]

Nazario is at work on her second book for Random House.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Boston Globe awarded public service Pulitzer". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. April 8, 2003. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  2. ^ Savchuk, Katia. "Journalist Sonia Nazario on Coming Out as an Activist". journalist sonia nazario coming out activist. Cal Alumni Association UC Berkeley. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  3. ^ "Q & A With Sonia". Enrique's Journey. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  4. ^ "News Releases Pulitzer Prize Winner to Speak at Mount St. Mary's Commencement". Mount Saint Mary's University Los Angeles (News Releases). Mount Saint Mary's University. March 10, 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2018.