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Nan Robertson

Nan C. Robertson

Nan C. Robertson (b. July 11 1926, Chicago) is an American journalist, author and instructor in journalism.

Five decades in journalism

Robertson attended Northwestern University where she was a member of Alpha Phi sorority until she graduated in 1948. She traveled to Europe and was a reporter for Stars & Stripes in Germany (1948-49) and a fashion publicist in Paris (1950). From 1951 to 1953, she was a correspondent in Germany for the Milwaukee Journal and a feature writer and columnist — based in Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt and London — for the New York Herald-Tribune from 1952 to 1953. Robertson also reported for the London American Daily from 1953 to 1954.

Robertson joined the staff of The New York Times in 1955, beginning as a general assignment reporter for the city desk and women's news.

From 1963 to 1972, Robertson was a Washington correspondent, focusing on the White House, Congress, presidential campaigns and voting and campus political trends across the United States. From 1972 to 1975, she was based in Paris, covering France, neighboring countries and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. From 1975 to 1982, Robertson reported for the Living and Style sections.

In 1983, Robertson won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for her memorable and medically detailed account of her struggle with toxic shock syndrome, a cover story for The New York Times Magazine which at that time became the most widely syndicated article in Times history.

She formally retired from the Times in 1988 (serving her last five years as a reporter on the cultural news desk), but continued to write for the paper until 1996.

In 1994, Robertson became the first Eugene L. Roberts Visiting Professor of Journalism at the University of Maryland.

Other Awards

In addition to her Pulitzer Prize, Robertson is a recipient of the following:

  • 1962 - Newswomen's Club of New York - Feature Writing Award
  • 1980 - Newswomen's Club of New York - Best Feature Front Page Award
  • 1981 and 1983 - Fellowship at the Macdowell Colony
  • 1982 - Newswomen's Club of New York - Special Award for Excellence
  • 1983 - Newspaper Guild of New York - Page One Award
  • 1983 - Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship
  • 1991 - Northwestern University Alumnae Award
  • 1992 - Northwestern University - honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters
  • 1993 - International Women's Media Foundation - Lifetime Achievement Award


  • Getting Better: Inside Alcoholics Anonymous. New York: William Morrow, 1988. ISBN 0688068693 ISBN 978-0688068691
  • The Girls in the Balcony: Women, Men, and The New York Times. New York: Random House, 1992. ISBN 039458452X ISBN 978-0394584522


External links

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