Sonia Nazario has spent more than 20 years reporting and writing about social issues, most recently as a projects reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Her stories have tackled some of this country’s most intractable problems: hunger, drug addiction, immigration.
She has won numerous national journalism and book awards. In 2003, her story of a Honduran boy’s struggle to find his mother in the U.S., entitled “Enrique’s Journey,” won more than a dozen awards, among them the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, the George Polk Award for International Reporting, the Grand Prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Guillermo Martinez-Marquez Award for Overall Excellence.
Expanded into a book, Enrique’s Journey became a national bestseller, won three book awards, and became required reading for incoming freshman at nearly 60 colleges and scores of high schools across the U.S.
In 1998, Nazario was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for a series on children of drug-addicted parents. And in 1994, she won a George Polk Award for Local Reporting for a series about hunger among schoolchildren in California.
Nazario, who grew up in Kansas and in Argentina, has written extensively from Latin America and about Latinos in the United States. She has been named among the most influential Latinos by Hispanic Business Magazine and a “trendsetter” by Hispanic Magazine. In 2012 Columbia Journalism Review named Nazario among "40 women who changed the media business in the past 40 years."
She began her career at The Wall Street Journal, where she reported from four bureaus: New York, Atlanta, Miami and Los Angeles. In 1993, she joined the Los Angeles Times. She is now at work on her second book.
She serves on the advisory boards of the University of North Texas Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference and Catch the Next, a non-profit working to double the number of Latinos enrolling in college. She is also on the board of Kids In Need of Defense, a non-profit launched by Microsoft and Angelina Jolie to provide pro-bono attorneys to unaccompanied immigrant children.
Nazario is a graduate of Williams College and has a master’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Nazario has received honorary doctorates from Mount St. Mary's College and Whittier College.