Caryle Murphy ‘68

Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist - The Washington Post

Caryle Murphy is a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist who has covered some of the most war-torn countries around the globe. As a foreign correspondent for the Washington Post, she reported in the following regions: South Africa (following the Soweto uprising and Steve Biko slaying by the police); Cairo as bureau chief, in charge of Arab world coverage; and Kuwait during the border crossing and subsequent Emirate occupation by Iraqi forces. She is best known for her Washington Post coverage of Iraqi-occupied Kuwait and the Gulf War (1990–91) that ensued; she was part of team covering the Gulf War from Southern Arabia and was a reporter for three months during a tour of duty in Baghdad. She received the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting and the George Polk Award for Foreign Reporting for her coverage of the Mideast and Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

Caryle Murphy majored in history at Trinity and graduated in 1968. She also earned a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

In addition to her work for the Washington Post, she was a reporter for the Christian Science Monitor, and worked for the Global Post and The National while in Saudi Arabia. In the U.S., she reported on American immigration policy, the federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, and religion. She has been a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., and was the 1994–1995 Edward R. Murrow Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

She is the author of two books: “Passion for Islam: Shaping the Modern Middle East: The Egyptian Experience,” and “A Kingdom’s Future: Saudi Arabia Through the Eyes of its Twentysomethings.” In 2002, in the Washington Post’s Book World described her as having engaged in “careful reporting and cogent analysis [that] present[ed] readers with an indispensable opportunity to understand how the variegated strands of Islam – tolerant reformist traditions as well as militant anti-Western ones – have taken root in the Arab world’s most vital civilization.”

In addition to her Pulitzer Prize and Polk Award, she received numerous journalism awards, including the Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation, Edward Weintal Diplomatic Reporting Prize, Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and the Knight Luce Fellowship for Reporting on Global Religion.

Caryle Murphy officially retired from the Washington Post in 2006 and continues to write and is a keen observer of the Middle East.