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About Elizabeth

After completing her graduate degree in journalism at UC-Berkeley, Elizabeth Mehren worked as a reporter for several newspapers in California, including the San Francisco Chronicle. From the Chronicle she moved to The Washington Post during the whirlwind days of Watergate. A call from an editor at the Los Angeles Times sent her home to California—but not for long. Soon she was back in the nation’s capital, working as a reporter in her newspaper’s prestigious Washington bureau. Later she joined the national staff of The LA Times, working first as a reporter in New York and subsequently serving as the paper’s New England bureau chief. She has covered many presidential elections, including frigid primaries in New Hampshire and Iowa, and was part of her paper’s reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize following the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles.

She left The LA Times to accept a faculty position in the College of Communication at Boston University, where she won teaching awards and served on university-wide committees. As a co-founder of BU’s Global Health Storytelling program, she helped bring a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the university.


Mehren is the author of four previous books. She has written for numerous national magazines and has appeared on national and regional television and radio programs. In 2023, Mehren delivered a Ted-X Berkeley talk at her alma mater.


She resides in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, the journalist Fox Butterfield, and a loquacious Labrador retriever.

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