Skip to content

Renowned journalist Bob Woodward to share war stories on eight presidents



Journalist Bob Woodward, whose reporting during the Watergate scandal 40 years ago helped topple a presidency, will speak Thursday, April 19, at 7 pm. in Memorial Chapel.

Woodward’s talk, “From Nixon to Obama: War Stories from the Reporting Trenches on Eight Presidents,” is free and open to the public.

As a young reporter for the Washington Post in 1972, Woodward teamed with Carl Bernstein to uncover the Watergate scandal during the administration of President Richard Nixon. Their reporting led to Nixon’s resignation in 1974 and the indictment and conviction of dozens of top Nixon administration officials. The duo’s work also became a bestseller, All the President’s Men, and was the basis for the classic movie starring Robert Redford as Woodward and Dustin Hoffman as Bernstein.

The pair is credited with inspiring a generation of young people to pursue investigative journalism. Gene Roberts, former managing editor of The New York Times said the work of Woodward and Bernstein “may be the single greatest reporting effort of all time.”

Incidentally, an alumnus, the late Howard A. Simons '51, played a pivotal role in the newspaper's coverage of Watergate. Managing editor of the Post from 1971 to 1984, Simons received the first phone call in the newsroom with word of the Watergate break-in. Under his leadership, Woodward and Bernstein broke many of the stories that led to Nixon's downfall. Woodward and Bernstein have credited Simons with naming their key source, "Deep Throat," after the title of the top pornographic movie of the time.

Woodward’s reporting has helped the Post win two Pulitzer Prizes. In 1973, the newspaper was awarded the Pulitzer for public service primarily because of Woodward and Bernstein’s reporting on Watergate. In 2002, the Post won the Pulitzer for national reporting in part because of articles Woodward wrote in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He also was awarded the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency in 2003.

Woodward is the associate editor of The Washington Post and has authored or co-authored 16 books, 12 of which have been nonfiction national bestsellers, including Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA, 1981-1987; The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House; and Shadow: Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate. His latest book, 2010's Obama’s Wars, focuses on Obama’s critical decisions about the wars abroad and the worldwide fight against terrorism.

The lecture is sponsored by the student-run Speakers Forum.