Michael Powell ’78
Since 2007, Michael Powell ’78 has worked for the New York Times. He’s currently a national reporter covering issues around free speech and expression, and stories capturing intellectual and campus debate.
Prior to that, he was the Sports of The Times columnist for six years, wrote the Gotham column for the Metro section, was a national economics writer for Business, and covered the Barack Obama and Rudy Giuliani presidential campaigns in 2008.
Powell was part of the team that won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for its swift and sweeping coverage of the sex scandal that resulted in the resignation of Governor Eliot Spitzer.
In 2013, Powell was part of a team that won a George Polk Award. Writing for The Times Gotham column, the story uncovered evidence that a Brooklyn homicide detective used false confessions, tainted testimony, and coercive tactics to convict dozens of defendants. Read the story here.
Before joining The Times, Powell worked for The Washington Post from 1996 to 2006, where he covered the 2000 presidential campaign and later served as New York bureau chief.
He began his career in 1984 at the Burlington Free Press, going on to positions with the Bergen Record, New York Newsday, and the New York Observer.
He worked as a tenant organizer in East Flatbush and received his master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 1984.
His and his wife have two sons. They live in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn.
Awards / Residencies
- Pulitzer Prize, 2009
- Purchase College Distinguished Alumni Award, 2010
- George Polk Award in Journalism, 2013