Photo credit: Librado Romero
John is a Pulitzer-prize winning reporter and best-selling novelist who has worked for The New York Times for over 40 years. He began his career as a copy boy in 1966 and first worked as a reporter in New York, including a stint at City Hall during the mid-1970's fiscal crisis. His first foreign assignment was to West Africa, where he was based in Lagos, Nigeria. After 13 months he was thrown in jail and deported for articles unpleasing to the military government. His next assignment was in Nairobi, Kenya, where his coverage included the civil war in Rhodesia, the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and the fall of Idi Amin in Uganda. John won the George Polk award for his work there. In 1979 he was based in Warsaw, Poland, where he covered the birth of the Solidarity movement and the imposition of martial law. He won the Polk award again and the Pulitzer Prize for dispatches smuggled out of the country to avoid censorship. His next assignment was in Spain where he covered the rise to power of the Socialist party. He returned to New York as deputy foreign editor and then became metropolitan editor and news editor/weekends, before taking up another stint abroad as London bureau chief. He returned from London in 1996 to become culture editor, a job he held for six years. He is now Editorial Director for Special Projects. He has published four novels. The first, "Neanderthal," became an international best seller and was optioned by Steven Spielberg (the movie was never made). The second, "The Experiment" was also a best seller. The third, "Mind Catcher," like the first two, was a science-based adventure. His latest book is "The Darwin Conspiracy," a work of historical fiction. John is married to Nina Darnton, also a writer, and they have three children-Kyra, Liza and James.