Ralph Blumenthal

Ralph Blumenthal, a Distinguished Lecturer at Baruch College of the City University of New York, and summer journalism instructor at Phillips Exeter Academy. He was an award-winning reporter for The New York Times from 1964 to 2009, and has written seven books on organized crime and cultural history. He led the Times metro team that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of the 1993 truck-bombing of the World Trade Center. In 2001, Blumenthal was named a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to research the progressive career and penal reforms of Warden Lewis E. Lawes, “the man who made Sing Sing sing.” The book on Warden Lawes, Miracle at Sing Sing, was published by St. Martin’s in June, 2004. During the coronavirus pandemic he contributed articles to The Times and other publications, worked from home on his Baruch Archives blog, “An Adventure in Democracy”, and given virtual talks on his new book, The Believer: Alien Encounters, Hard Science, and the Passion of John Mack.

For more than 45 years, Blumenthal led an extensive and illustrious career at The Times as Texas correspondent and Southwest Bureau Chief (2003-8); arts and culture news reporter (1994-2003); investigative and crime reporter (1971-1994); foreign correspondent (West Germany, South Vietnam, Cambodia, 1968-1971); and metro and Westchester correspondent (1964-1968). He began his journalism career as reporter/columnist for The Grand Prairie Daily News Texan in 1963. Blumenthal earned a Guggenheim Fellowship (2001), a Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Alumni Award (2001), and the Nieman Foundation’s Worth Bingham Prize for distinguished investigative reporting on USAir crashes. (1994.) He was named a Townsend Harris medalist of the City College Alumni Association in 2012 and inducted into the C.C.N.Y. Communications Alumni Hall of Fame in May 2010. Since 2010 he has taught journalism in the high school summer program of Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H., and in 2010 was named a Distinguished Lecturer at Baruch College where he taught journalism and currently oversees historic collections in the Newman Library Archives. You can find his website at www.ralphblumenthal.com