This month, HWS Trustee and Emmy Award-winning 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker ’73, L.H.D. ’97 was awarded the Sidney Hillman Prize for his reporting in the segments “The Whistleblower” and “Too Big to Prosecute.”
The Hillman prizes recognize work in the field of socially conscious journalism, this year honoring Whitaker and his colleagues at 60 Minutes and The Washington Post —
Ira Rosen, Sam Hornblower, Robert Zimet, Scott Higham and Lenny Bernstein — for their work “expos[ing] a war within DEA over whether to hold the powerful drug industry accountable for fueling the opioid epidemic.”
A member of the HWS Board of Trustees for more than a decade, Whitaker joined 60 Minutes in 2014, investigating stories across the world — from the Syrian refugee crisis to the issue of race and policing in America. In 2016, his reporting on the segment “The Swiss Leaks,” about the biggest data breach in Swiss banking history, earned him and his colleagues a 2016 Emmy Award for Outstanding Business and Economic Reporting in a News Magazine.
In April 2018, Whitaker was announced as the newest National Advisory Board member of the Posse Foundation, one of the most successful college access and youth leadership development programs in the country.
Since 1989, nearly 7,000 Posse Scholars have been selected to attend top-tier colleges and universities throughout the country, including HWS, which partnered with the organization in 2012. In 2017, HWS graduated its first cohort of Posse Scholars and awarded Deborah Bial L.H.D. ’17, the president and founder of Posse, an honorary degree.
Before joining 60 Minutes, during his decades of reporting with CBS News, Whitaker covered many of the major breaking news events and issues of the day, including the pro-democracy uprising in Tienanmen Square in Beijing, the Persian Gulf War, the Unabomber case and the presidential campaign of George W. Bush.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in American history from Hobart in 1973, he received a master’s degree from Boston University in African-American studies and attended the master of journalism program at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1997, Whitaker was awarded an honorary degree by the Colleges for his accomplishments as a journalist and his service to his alma mater.
Details on Whitaker’s impressive career and his Life of Consequence can be found here.