Nov. 24, 2004

Contact: Jennifer Kinnard, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, (785) 864-7644.

Pulitzer Prize-winning KU grad to give public lecture, visit journalism school

LAWRENCE -- University of Kansas graduate Kevin Helliker, Chicago bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal and 2004 Pulitzer Prize winner for explanatory journalism, will give a public speech at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29, in the Big 12 Room of the Kansas Union.


A KU graduate and former journalism student, Helliker will talk about aortic aneurysms, the subject of his Pulitzer Prize-winning series. He co-wrote the series with fellow Wall Street Journal reporter Thomas M. Burton. While at KU, Helliker will meet with journalism students and faculty and discuss the important role journalists play in the dissemination of life-saving medical information.


"Kevin came to the journalism school with a creative writing background and a strong desire to learn marketable journalism skills that would lead to a good job,” said Ted Frederickson, Helliker's former journalism professor.


“By the end of my beginning reporting class, it was clear that Kevin would have his choice of numerous good job offers,” Frederickson said. "To his credit, his Pulitzer-winning series on aneurysms shows that he brought his creative writing skills with him to his new profession."


Helliker began his journalism career in the Journal's Houston bureau as a reporter in 1982. He later joined the Kansas City Times and then became assistant editor at Corporate Report Kansas City magazine. In 1986, he went to Arizona Trend magazine as a writer and later became managing editor.


In 1989, Helliker had a yearlong writing fellowship at Duke University before rejoining the Journal, working as a reporter in Dallas, New York and London. He was named Dallas bureau chief in May 1994 and Chicago bureau chief in May 1996.

Helliker is a Kansas City, Kan., native who earned a bachelor's degree in English literature from KU in 1982. He took several classes from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications while he was at KU.

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