New York Times War Correspondent John Burns to Address the Battle for Baghdad

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., Sept. 24, 2007 — John Burns, London Bureau Chief for The New York Times, will speak at Williams College on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 7:30 p.m. in the MainStage of the ’62 Center on the Williams College campus. Burns, whose coverage of Iraq has been extensive, will discuss the “Battle for Baghdad: What the Outcome Will Mean for Iraq, America, and the World.”

This event is free but tickets are required. Contact the ’62 Center box office to reserve tickets: 413-597-2425. Box office hours are Tues.-Fri. 1-5 p.m.

Burns, based in Baghdad beginning in 2003, covered the last six months of Saddam Hussein’s regime and the war to overthrow him. He watched the bombing of Saddam Hussein’s palaces that began the American overthrow of Hussein from the roof of the Palestine Hotel on March 20, 2003, and subsequently went into hiding in Baghdad after escaping arrest by the secret police. He served as bureau chief for The Times in Baghdad until July 1, 2007, covering every aspect of the war there from a base in The New York Times’ heavily-fortified compound on the east bank of the Tigris river. After nearly five years in Iraq, Burns was named the newspaper’s London bureau chief.

He is the longest-serving foreign correspondent in The New York Times’ history, having worked for more than 30 years on assignment in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Burns joined the staff of The New York Times in 1975 and made his name reporting from all over the world. His service abroad led to his 1986 incarceration in China while chief of The New York Times’ Beijing bureau. Once the espionage charges were dropped, Burns was expelled from that country. Burns likewise reported from Bosnia-Herzegovina during that country’s war, and from Afghanistan following the rise of the Taliban.

Among his many awards, he has been awarded two Pulitzer prizes. In 1993, Burns was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for “his courageous and thorough coverage of the destruction of Sarajevo and the barbarous killing in the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.” In 1997, Burns won his second Pulitzer prize “for his courageous and insightful coverage of the harrowing regime imposed on Afghanistan by the Taliban.” Along with two fellow journalists, Burns won the George Polk Award in 1978 for foreign reporting for coverage of Africa.

Burns has often appeared on PBS, including “The Charlie Rose Show” and “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” often via satellite from Afghanistan and Iraq.

The event is sponsored by the Stanley Kaplan Program in American Foreign Policy and the Leadership Studies Program.

For building locations on the Williams campus, please consult the map outside the driveway entrance to the Security Office located in Hopkins Hall on Main Street (Rte. 2), next to the Thompson Memorial Chapel, or call the Office of Public Affairs (413) 597-4277. The map can also be found on the web at

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