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Schultz, Connie 1958(?)–

Schultz, Connie 1958(?)–

PERSONAL: Born c. 1958; daughter of a factory worker and a nurse's aide; married Sherrod Brown; children: two children, two stepdaughters. Education: Kent State University, B.A., 1979.

ADDRESSES: Office—Plain Dealer, 2019 Center St., Ste. 200, Cleveland, OH 44113. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer, journalist, essayist, and columnist. Freelance writer, 1978–93; Plain Dealer, Cleveland, OH, columnist, 1993–.

AWARDS, HONORS: American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors Award for best short feature, best in Ohio recognition, 1998, for narrative series, "Losing Lisa"; National Headliner Awards Best of Show, Robert F. Kennedy Award for Social Justice Reporting (domestic), journalism awards from Harvard and Columbia universities, and Pulitzer Prize finalist, all 2003, all for narrative series, "The Burden of Innocence"; James Batten Medal, Foundation for the Batten Medal, 2004, for journalistic work; Pulitzer Prize, Scripps-Howard Award, and National Headliners Award, all 2005, all for commentary; American Society of Newspaper Editors finalist for commentary; named best feature writer in Ohio, Associated Press Society of Ohio.

WRITINGS:

Contributor to periodicals, including Cleveland Plain Dealer.

SIDELIGHTS: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Connie Schultz is a columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper. A winner of multiple awards for her commentary and journalism, Schultz worked as a freelance writer for fifteen years before going to work for the Plain Dealer. He readily admits that in her writing she takes a woman's perspective, and she does not try to blunt that approach. "If you saw my column without my name on it, you would still know it's written by a woman," Schultz remarked in a profile by Dave Astor in Editor & Publisher.

Schultz grew up in Ashtabula, Ohio, a working-class city near Cleveland, and was the first in her family to attend college, noted a biographer on the Everything Cleveland Web site. Schultz's columns often focus on the underprivileged and the underdog."I like to use the column for those who need a voice," Schultz stated in a profile on the Batten Medal Web site. "I have no interest in the privileged. They have plenty of people to speak for them."

Schultz's Pulitzer Prize was earned for commentary. She was also a Pulitzer finalist in 2003 for a series titled "The Burden of Innocence," the story of a man wrongly incarcerated thirteen years for a rape he did not commit, but who continued to suffer the stigma of being an ex-convict long after he was exonerated and released from prison. A narrative series on a dying woman, titled "Losing Lisa," was named the best series in Ohio in 1998. Another prize-winning piece focused on the plight of a coat-check worker who was forced to surrender her tip money to management. As a result of Schultz's reporting, the management of that establishment was embarrassed into changing their policy.

Stuart Warner, Plain Dealer deputy features editor and writing coach, attributes Schultz's success to "enthusiasm, compassion, ability to connect with working-class readers, and willingness to accept writing advice," Astor reported. As reported on the award's Web site, judges on the Batten Medal panel remarked that "they were impressed with the range of Schultz's work and her ability 'to make stories of ordinary people significant, meaningful, and touching.'"

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Editor & Publisher, May 1, 2005, Dave Astor, "Pulitzers: Connie Keeps It Real in Cleveland."

ONLINE

Batten Medal Web site, http://www.battenmedal.org/ (April 22, 2004), "Plain Dealer's Connie Schultz Wins 2004 Batten Medal."

Everything Cleveland, http://www.cleveland.com/ (April 4, 2005), biography of Connie Schultz.

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