Podcast Host/Television Host/Executive Content Producer
Lee Hawkins is a true multi-platform, entrepreneurial journalist who is challenging and changing the paradigm of multimedia news and entertainment. His television and online video content has attracted millions of viewers, and he is now expanding his audience by also breaking into the podcast world, mainly with narrative-driven long form series around race, equity, and economics.
He is hosting and co-producing a long-form podcast series with APM Studios, a division of American Public Media (APM) about the intergenerational ripple effect of slavery and Jim Crow segregation on his family, going back to the 1600s. The podcast will precede his forthcoming book, NOBODY'S SLAVE: How Uncovering My Family's History Set Me Free (HarperCollins 2023), which focuses on related topics.
In 2022, he won the O'Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism from Marquette University, which will support the APM podcast. He was also named a finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, as part of a series written by a team of fellow Wall Street Journal reporters. His story for the series "The Dreams of Jack and Daisy Scott", was about the intergenerational effect of the massacre on one Black family. The series also won the New York Press Club Award, in the Special Event Reporting category for National Newspapers. In 2021, he received the Adam Clayton Powell Reporting Award from New York Association of Black Journalists and was a finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business Reporting. He is a four-time winner of the National Association of Black Journalist's "Salute to Excellence" Award and a recipient of the Logan Nonfiction Fellowship and the National Fellowship from the USC Fund for Journalism on Child Well-being for Reporting on Childhood Trauma.
His career includes 19 years of reporting for the Wall Street Journal, from 2003 to 2022. He started his career in the Detroit bureau of WSJ covering General Motors and the challenges facing the big automakers, until he relocated to NYC in 2007 to represent the WSJ in the TV and emerging digital world. He was then promoted to News Editor and On-Camera reporter, and, among other things, became known for his on-camera interviews with influential newsmakers and icons. He created a niche around what he calls "the business of celebrity", booking and conducting in-depth interviews with the top superstars in the sports and entertainment worlds, and other famous newsmakers including Martha Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Robert DeNiro, Clive Davis, Floyd Mayweather, Lady Gaga, Hugh Hefner, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Betty White, Joan Rivers, UFC execs Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta, boxers Manny Pacquiao and Mike Tyson, the Kardashian family, young NFL stars Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick, and Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel of Saudi Arabia, among many others.
In preparation for his transition into race and equity reporting by covering the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on children in the New York Public Schools, the nation's largest school district, which is comprised of 85% students of color. He also wrote and broadcasted about the evolution of the Civil Rights movement post-George Floyd, and the ongoing battle between the Jesuit Church and descendants of the people it enslaved to fund the founding of dozens of educational institutions, including Georgetown University.
Before joining the WSJ, he worked as a business reporter for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and the Wisconsin State Journal. He has covered a wide range of publicly traded companies and industries during his career, including electric and telecommunications utilities, manufacturing, technology, and minority-owned businesses.
Lee holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was editorial page editor of the Badger Herald student newspaper. He is a past member of the UW-Madison board of visitors for the School of Journalism and Mass Communications and an active member of the National Association of Black Journalists.