Wayne Barrett

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Wayne Barrett
Image of Wayne Barrett taken in September 2007
Barrett in 2007
Born(1945-07-11)July 11, 1945
New Britain, Connecticut, U.S.
DiedJanuary 19, 2017(2017-01-19) (aged 71)
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Alma materSaint Joseph's University (BA)
Columbia University (MS)
Frances Marie McGettigan
(m. 1969; his death 2017)

Wayne Barrett (July 11, 1945 – January 19, 2017) was an American journalist. He worked as an investigative reporter and senior editor for The Village Voice for 37 years, until he was laid off in 2011.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Barrett was born on July 11, 1945, in New Britain, Connecticut, and was raised in Lynchburg, Virginia. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Saint Joseph's University and a Master of Science in the discipline from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he subsequently taught as an adjunct professor for over thirty years.[2]


Following his tenure at The Village Voice, Barrett was a fellow at The Nation Institute and a contributor to Newsweek.

Barrett was best known for authoring many articles and books about politicians, including New York City figures such as Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and Ed Koch. Barrett was the first journalist to uncover Trump's business deceptions.[3] He began reporting on Trump in the late 1970s and did 10 hours of taped interviews with Trump while the Grand Hyatt New York was under construction; his two-part series led to the impaneling of a federal grand jury in the Eastern District in Brooklyn against Trump. Barrett's 1991 biography of Trump was republished with the title of Trump: The Greatest Show on Earth: The Deals, the Downfall, the Reinvention in 2016.[4]

Barrett's book, Rudy!: An Investigative Biography of Rudolph Giuliani, was adapted into a 2003 television film, Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story. He was interviewed for the 2006 documentary Giuliani Time and the 2017 documentary Get Me Roger Stone.

Barrett was a mentor to progressive activist and political commentator Nomiki Konst.[5][6]

After Barrett's death, his complete writings were acquired by the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin.[7]


Barrett died in Manhattan on January 19, 2017 from complications of interstitial lung disease and lung cancer.[8][9][10][11] Coincidently, Barrett died the day before Trump was inaugurated as president. Barrett's writings on Trump continued to be relevant during the Trump presidency and were a valuable resource for journalists during that time.[12]

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • The Big Apple: City for Sale: Ed Koch and the Betrayal of New York (Harper and Row, 1988, ISBN 0-06-091662-1) (with Jack Newfield)
  • Trump: The Deals and the Downfall (Harper Collins, 1992, ISBN 0-06-016704-1)
  • Rudy!: An Investigative Biography of Rudolph Giuliani (Basic Books, 2001, ISBN 0-465-00524-1)
  • Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11 (Harper Collins, 2006, ISBN 0-06-053660-8; with Dan Collins)
  • Trump: The Greatest Show on Earth: The Deals, the Downfall, the Reinvention (Regan Arts [e-book] April 26, 2016, ASIN: B01ECUXPIM; Paperback Edition August 2016, ISBN 978-1-68245-079-6)


  1. ^ Barrett, Wayne (January 8, 2011). "Bloomberg give us the cold shoulder", New York Post.
  2. ^ Austin, Dolph Briscoe Center for the American History-UT (2018-07-25). "The Wayne Barrett Papers". www.cah.utexas.edu. Retrieved 2020-03-16.
  3. ^ David Cay, Johnston (2020-07-10). "The Donald Trump That Only His Family Has Seen 'Cheating is a way of life'". DC Report. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  4. ^ ""A Classic State Capitalist": How Donald Trump Profited from Public Subsidies & Political Favors". Democracy Now!. 14 June 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  5. ^ Legendary Reporter, Trump Biographer Wayne Barrett Dies, retrieved 2020-03-16
  6. ^ Scaros, Constantinos E. (2018-10-22). "Nomiki Konst, Anti-Corruption Champion, Runs for New York City Public Advocate". The National Herald. Retrieved 2020-03-16.
  7. ^ Barrett, Wayne. "Wayne Barrett Papers, circa 1960s-circa 2000s". legacy.lib.utexas.edu. Retrieved 2020-03-16.
  8. ^ Roberts, Sam (January 19, 2017). "Wayne Barrett, Fierce Muckraker at The Village Voice, Dies at 71". The New York Times.
  9. ^ Kludt, Tom (16 May 2016). "Donald Trump's first nemesis enjoys resurgence of 1991 book". CNN.
  10. ^ Aronsen, Gavin (4 January 2011). "I Was a Wayne Barrett Intern". Mother Jones.
  11. ^ Robbins, Tom (24 January 2017). "The old-school journalism of Wayne Barrett". CJR.
  12. ^ Pager, Tyler; Peiser, Jaclyn (August 31, 2018). "The Village Voice, a New York Icon, Closes". The New York Times. Retrieved January 19, 2020.

External links[edit]