Former CIA director and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wished he’d recruited Woodward into the CIA, “His ability to get people to talk about stuff they shouldn’t be talking about is just extraordinary and may be unique.”
Therein lays the genius of Bob Woodward – an iconic investigative reporter who gained international attention when he and Carl Bernstein broke the deeply disturbing news of the Watergate scandal. The book they wrote – All the President’s Men – won a Pulitzer Prize.
Watergate’s theme of the inner-workings of the secret government is a common thread throughout Woodward’s career that spawned 20 books – all went on to become national bestsellers – 14 of them #1 – more than any other contemporary nonfiction author. His bestseller, Fear: Trump in the White House, is the deepest dive ever made into the first months of any American president, selling more than 1.1 million copies in its first week and breaking the 94-year first-week sales record of its publisher. His 21st book will look at the final days of the Trump presidency and the early days of Biden’s presidency.
No other political investigative reporter has the clout, respect, and reputation of Woodward. He has a way of getting insiders to open up – both on the record and off the record – in ways that reveal an intimate yet sweeping portrayal of Washington and the budget wrangling, political infighting, how we fight wars, the price of politics, how presidents lead, the homeland security efforts, and so much more. His work is meticulous and draws on internal memos, classified documents, meeting notes and hundreds of hours of interviews with most of the key players, including the president.
As a speaker, his keynotes look at the expanding powers of the presidency and the important lessons that can be learned from the presidents he’s covered. He can also assess the role of the media and how well it is (or isn’t) doing its job. Audiences will be awe-struck by insights from this living journalistic legend.
Professionally, Bob Woodward is currently associate editor for The Washington Post where he’s worked since 1971. He has won nearly every American journalism award, and the Post won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for his work with Carl Bernstein on the Watergate scandal. In addition, Woodward was the main reporter for the Post’s articles on the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks that won the National Affairs Pulitzer Prize in 2002. Woodward won the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency in 2003.
Bob Schieffer of CBS News said “Woodward has established himself as the best reporter of our time. He may be the best reporter of all time.” The Weekly Standard called Woodward “the best pure reporter of his generation, perhaps ever.” In 2003, Albert Hunt of The Wall Street Journal called Woodward “the most celebrated journalist of our age.” In listing the all-time 100 best non-fiction books, Time magazine has called All the President’s Men, by Bernstein and Woodward, “Perhaps the most influential piece of journalism in history.”
Woodward has co-authored or authored fourteen #1 national best-selling non-fiction books. They are: All the President’s Men (1974) and The Final Days (1976), both Watergate books, co-authored with Bernstein; The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court (1979) co-authored with Scott Armstrong; Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi (1984); Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA 1981-87 (1987); The Commanders (1991); The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House (1994); Shadow: Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate (1999); Bush at War (2002); Plan of Attack (2004); State of Denial: Bush at War Part III (2006); Obama’s Wars (2010); Fear: Trump in the White House (2018); and Rage (2020). Woodward’s other national bestselling books are: The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate’s Deep Throat (2005), The Choice (1996), Maestro: Greenspan’s Fed and the American Boom (2000), The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006-2008 (2008), The Price of Politics (2012), and The Last of the President’s Men (2015). Newsweek magazine has excerpted six of Woodward’s books in headline-making cover stories; “60 Minutes” has done pieces on eight of his books; and three of his books have been made into feature films.
In November 2017, the online learning portal MasterClass released “Bob Woodward Teaches Investigative Journalism.” In it Woodward reveals the lessons he’s learned during his 45-year career, teaching students what truth means, how to uncover it, and how to build a story with it.
Woodward was born March 26, 1943 in Illinois. He graduated from Yale University in 1965 and served five years as a communications officer in the U.S. Navy before beginning his journalism career at the Montgomery County Sentinel (Maryland), where he was a reporter for one year before joining the Post.