Archival Adventures in Small Repositories
About the Keynote Speaker
Bill Marimow, the editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, is a native Philadelphian who has served as a reporter, an editor, and assistant to the publisher at the newspaper. Marimow has twice won the Pulitzer Prize—first in 1978, for a series of stories written with a partner about criminal violence by Philadelphia police, and in 1985, for investigative reporting about the Philadelphia Police K-9 unit, whose dogs were attacking innocent, unarmed men and women.
Marimow’s interest in history was spurred by childhood visits to Leary’s Bookstore, a landmark in Center City, where his grandfather helped him unearth old Reach and Spalding baseball guides that chronicled the glory years of the old Philadelphia Athletics (circa 1911 and 1929-30) and the rare achievements of the Phillies (a National League pennant in 1915). That interest was reinforced by weekly visits to the Free Library of Philadelphia on Logan Square, where he pored over old city directories to trace the course of his family’s homes from the 1870s into the 20th century.
A graduate of Trinity College, Marimow studied law in 1982-83 as Nieman Fellow at Harvard Law School. At the start of his career, Marimow was a reporter at The Evening Bulletin and The Inquirer, where he covered economics, labor, state and federal courts, and served as City Hall bureau chief. He went on to become editor in chief at The Baltimore Sun and vice president for the news division at National Public Radio.
In November 2006, he rejoined The Inquirer as editor after the company was purchased by a group of Philadelphia area investors. He led the newspaper until fall 2010. In spring 2012, Marimow again returned to The Inquirer as the editor after teaching at The Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. In April 2012, The Inquirer received the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Public Service for a series on violence in Philadelphia’s public schools, which was started while Marimow was editor in chief in 2010. Marimow is married to Diane, a potter and sculptor, who also works at the Philadelphia Art Museum in the education department. He has a daughter, Ann, who is a reporter at The Washington Post, and a son, Scott, who works in private equity at Providence Equity Partners.