A Magazine for the George Mason University Community

Alumnus Wins Pulitzer Prize

By Mason Spirit contributor on October 18, 2018

Washington Post video reporter Tom LeGro, BA English ’98, MFA Creative Writing ’01, was part of the newspaper team that revealed U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore’s alleged past sexual harassment of teenage girls and the subsequent efforts to undermine the reporting that exposed it. His team’s combined text and video entry won the Washington Post a 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.

Tom Legro

Tom LeGro was part of the Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prizing-winning team for investigative reporting. Photo by Evan Cantwell

LeGro describes his path to journalism as unusual. He considered a career in education but found that he clicked with Mason’s Creative Writing Program. He particularly enjoyed the opportunity to study with professors whose writing he admired.

As an undergraduate, LeGro worked as a photo editor for the Broadside, Mason’s student newspaper (now known as IV Estate). In LeGro’s last year as a graduate student, a friend who worked at the Post suggested a part-time job with the sports desk. Jobs as a news aide, layout editor, and sports copy editor later followed.

He then worked with the PBS NewsHour, and when the show received a grant from the Poetry Foundation to cover poetry, LeGro found an opportunity to draw upon both his MFA studies and his journalistic skills. In 2013, the Washington Post launched a video initiative and he returned to the paper.

As an MFA graduate with a concentration in poetry, LeGro appreciates working in proximity to the editor of the Washington Post’s Book World, Ron Charles, where he has the opportunity to examine new publications of all kinds. And he notes that his wife, poet Hope Smith LeGro, MFA ’00, continues to write and present poetry.

As for advice for Mason students who might be aspiring journalists, LeGro says, “Concentrate your energy into things you care about and are passionate about. Though you need to cover other things, that’s where your good work will come. … Focus, dive deep into that world.”

—Anne Reynolds

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