Robert D. McFadden, a senior writer for The New York Times, has covered many of New York's major news stories in his more than 30 years as a reporter and rewrite man. His byline appears regularly over articles on plane crashes, hurricanes, strikes, blackouts, government affairs, health, crime, transportation, politics, education, the environment, the mass media and a wide array of other subjects.
Besides the Oklahoma City bombing, Mr. McFadden has covered the 1977 blackout in the New York region (during which he wrote by candlelight in a darkened newsroom); the 1986 suicide of the Queens Borough President, Donald Manes, which touched off New York's biggest scandal of the 1980's, and the case of Tawana Brawley, a black upstate New York teen-ager whose 1987 charges of rape inflamed racial tensions before being exposed as a hoax.
Mr. McFadden is co-author of two books: No Hiding Place (Times Books, 1981), an account of the 444-day Iranian hostage crisis, and Outrage: The Story Behind the Tawana Brawley Hoax (Bantam, 1990).
Winner of 17 major journalism awards and 8 New York Times Publisher's Awards, Mr. McFadden has long been the anchor of The Times's rewrite bank. He was named a senior writer in January 1990.
Mr. McFadden was born in Milwaukee on Feb. 11, 1937, and was raised in Chicago and Cumberland, WI. He worked his way through college, holding several reporting jobs before graduating in 1960 from the University of Wisconsin with a B.S. in journalism.
He was a reporter for The Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune in 1957 and 1958, The Wisconsin State Journal in Madison in 1958 and 1959, and, after graduating from college, for The Cincinnati Enquirer in 1960. Mr. McFadden joined The Times in May 1961 as a copy boy and was promoted to reporter a year later. After five years as a police and general assignment reporter, he became a rewrite man in 1967.
His many awards include the New York Press Club's Byline Award for spot news reporting in 1973, 1974, 1980, 1987 and 1989; the New York Newspaper Guild's Page One Award for local reporting; the Peter Kihss Award of the New York Society of Silurians, and the University of Wisconsin Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism and Mass Communication.
Mr. McFadden, a chess aficionado, lives in Manhattan with his wife, Judith, and son, Nolan. He is a governor of the New York Society of Silurians.