Hersh, Seymour Myron

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Hersh, Seymour Myron

Seymour Myron Hersh, 1937–, American investigative journalist, b. Chicago, grad. Univ. of Chicago (1958). He began his career (1959) at a local news bureau, then became a wire service correspondent, and was press secretary to presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy. Working as a freelancer, he broke (1969) the story of the My Lai incident, a civilian massacre during the Vietnam War. This reporting earned him an international reputation and a Pulitzer Prize (1970), and was amplified in the books My Lai 4 (1970) and Cover Up (1972). Hersh subsequently worked for the New York Times (1972–75, 1979), covering the Watergate affair, the CIA's role in domestic spying and the overthrow of Chile's President Allende, the downing of Korean Airlines Flight 007, and the India-Pakistan conflict. His reporting on the Nixon administration led to The Price of Power (1983), a scathing portrait of Henry Kissinger. A contributor to the New Yorker since 1993, Hersh has written extensively about post-9/11 America, the Bush administration, national security, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; in 2004 he broke the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse story. Many of these articles were collected in Chain of Command (2004).

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