Charles Lewis

The Center for Public Integrity

Charles Lewis founded the Center for Public Integrity in 1989 and served as its executive director until January 2005. He was the founding president of the Fund for Independence in Journalism, a support organization for the Center for Public Integrity. And he is a tenured professor and the founding executive editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University School of Communication, in Washington, D.C. Lewis left a successful career as an investigative reporter for ABC News and as a producer of the CBS News program 60 Minutes and began the Center. Under his leadership, it published roughly 300 investigative reports, including 14 books, from 1989 through 2004, its work honored more than 30 times by national journalism organizations. For example, in 2003, in February the Center posted secret draft “Patriot II” legislation and in October posted all of the known U.S. contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Windfalls of War first identified that Halliburton had received the most money from those contracts, and it won the George Polk Award. A co-author of five books, including national bestseller The Buying of the President 2004, Lewis was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1998 and received the PEN USA First Amendment award in 2004.

A national investigative journalist for roughly 30 years, Lewis has recently published the book 935 Lies. Some of that research was published by the Center for Public Integrity in January, 2008. Iraq: The War Card, a 380,000-word chronology and analysis of the pre-war public rhetoric by leading members of the Bush administration, identified 935 “false statements” about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Lewis has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Columbia Journalism Review, The Nation, and many other publications. He serves on numerous journalism-related boards and is a longtime member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the National Press Club. He began his first job in journalism at the age of seventeen, working nights in the sports department of the Wilmington (Delaware) News-Journal.

A native of Newark, Delaware, Lewis holds a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington and a B.A. in political science with honors and distinction from the University of Delaware. He was a Ferris Professor at Princeton University in 2005, and a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University in 2006.

Founder Chuck Lewis tells how the Center for Public Integrity came to be in this excerpt from his new book.

The Center's founder Charles Lewis on the life of a legendary U.S. broadcast journalist.

Statement from Center Executive Director Charles Lewis

The Center for Public Integrity's executive director explains Outsourcing the Pentagon

Relaxing media ownership rules conflicts with the public's right to know

Charles Lewis answers questions about the Center's recent project and the more general issue of ethics in state legislatures today.

Following 9/11, President Bush and seven top officials of his administration waged a campaign of misinformation on the threat from Iraq

Anatomy of an "independent" smear campaign

September 30, 1999 — With 6 billion people on the planet and 270 million living in the United States, who can blame anyone for thinking that

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WASHINGTON, March 2, 2000 — British statesman George Canning wrote more than a century ago: "Away with the cant of 'measures, not men!' the

August 2, 2000 — On the opening night of the GOP convention in Philadelphia, retired General Colin Powell criticized his fellow Republicans

WASHINGTON, August 9, 2000 — As the Democratic National Convention gets under way in Los Angeles, the American Federation of State, County a

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The most beloved American president, Abraham Lincoln, once said, "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depend

WASHINGTON, October 27, 2000 — Sometimes government officials treat the American people like growing mushrooms - keep them in the dark and c

December 21, 2000 — Remarks at the 22nd annual conference of the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws in Tampa, Fla., December 5....

WASHINGTON, January 23, 2001 — Now that George W. Bush has been duly sworn in as the 43rd president of the United States, he immediately fac

April 20, 2001 — With no warning, in the opening paragraph of Richard Cohen's recent column ("What Price Service?"), there it was, in black

WASHINGTON, June 8, 2001 — More than any time in recent memory, the American people have reasonable doubts about the integrity of the judici

WASHINGTON, December 20, 2001 — President Bush's recent decision to name an active, registered lobbyist to head the Republican National Comm

February 25, 2002 — The unfolding Enron spectacle is a cautionary tale about the fatal quicksand of irrational exuberance and greed, deceit

Asking the tough questions required of "watchdog journalism" is especially difficult in a national crisis atmosphere of fear, paranoia and p

WASHINGTON, October 28, 2002 — A journalist, besides telling us the unvarnished truth each day, is supposed to comfort the afflicted and aff

WASHINGTON, December 17, 2002 — It happened late on a Friday night, at my third airport of the day. As American Airlines Flight 3028 from St

WASHINGTON, February 7, 2003 — The Bush Administration is preparing a bold, comprehensive sequel to the USA Patriot Act passed in the wake o

WASHINGTON, February 12, 2003 — A few days ago, the Center for Public Integrity obtained a copy of draft legislation that the Bush Administr

On January 30, 1990, Platt's Oilgram News, a respected trade journal of the petroleum industry, reported that a subsidiary of a small, Dalla

WASHINGTON, September 17, 2003 — President George W. Bush used the second anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks not only to pr

WASHINGTON, September 17, 2003 — A month before the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and all of the increased government secrecy that