Photo © Paul Rich Studio
Fox Butterfield is the author of China: Alive in the Bitter Sea, which won the National Book Award, and All God’s Children: The Bosket Family and the American Tradition of Violence. He was a member of The New York Times reporting team that won the Pulitzer Prize for its publication of the Pentagon Papers, and served as a bureau chief for the newspaper in Boston, Saigon, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Beijing, where he opened The Times bureau in 1979.
In 1989, Butterfield was assigned to write an article about a young black man, Willie Bosket, who had murdered two passengers on the subway in Harlem and came to be regarded as the most violent criminal in New York State history. That story became All God’s Children, a winner of the Sidney Hillman Award. Butterfield would go onto become a national correspondent for The Times writing about crime and criminal justice — not individual crimes, but broad questions of public policy: prisons, guns, drugs, mental health, what drives crime rates up and down, and particularly how crime tends to run in families.
He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife Elizabeth Mehren, a longtime journalist with the Los Angeles Times and professor of journalism at Boston University.