Debbie Cenziper

Debbie Cenziper is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at ProPublica and nonfiction author. Formerly with The Washington Post, Cenziper is Director of Investigative Reporting at the Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University.

Over 20 years, Cenziper’s stories have sent people to prison, changed local, state and federal laws, prompted FBI and Congressional investigations and produced more funding for affordable housing, mental health care and public schools. She has won many major awards in American print journalism, including the Robert F. Kennedy Award, given by Ethel Kennedy and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights, and the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting from Harvard University.

She received the 2007 Pulitzer Prize at The Miami Herald for stories about affordable housing developers who were stealing from the poor. The series prompted a federal takeover of the Miami-Dade housing agency. A year before that, Cenziper was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in explanatory reporting for reports that chronicled widespread breakdowns in the government’s multi-billion-dollar hurricane-warning system.

Cenziper is a frequent speaker at universities, national writing conferences, book clubs and festivals. She has been a guest on dozens of television and radio shows, including CNN, MSNBC and NPR’s Talk of the Nation. Cenziper and her stories at The Miami Herald were featured in a national PBS documentary on investigative reporting; her work at The Washington Post was featured in an award-winning, full-length documentary film, released nationwide in 2013.

In June 2017, she was even named in a question on the game show Jeopardy! Host Alex Trebec asked contestants, “Like Bob Woodward at The Washington Post, Debbie Cenziper is this type of reporter, from the Latin for ‘to track.’”

Cenziper’s first critically acclaimed nonfiction book, Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality (William Morrow) received a starred review from Booklist and was named one of the most notable books of 2016 by The Washington Post. The book was co-authored with Jim Obergefell, the named plaintiff in the historic Supreme Court case.

Citizen 865: The Hunt for Hitler’s Hidden Soldiers in America  from  Hachette Books publishes November 12. The book relates the gripping story of a team of Nazi hunters at the U.S. Department of Justice as they raced against time to expose members of a brutal SS killing force who disappeared in America after World War Two.

Cenziper lives near Washington, D.C.  For more, go to


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