Mort Rosenblum now directs Reporting Unlimited – the Mort Report, magazine investigations and books – after 60 years of reporting in 200 countries and colonies, some no longer with us. He grew up in Tucson, traveling extensively in Mexico. He left the University of Arizona journalism school at 19 in 1963 to work for the Caracas Daily Journal and string for Time in Venezuela. He later finished his degree, worked on the Arizona Daily Star, then joined the Associated Press for his first foreign assignment – in Newark. In 1967, at 23, AP sent him to cover mercenary wars in the Congo.
He has written on subjects ranging from war to tango dancing by the Seine. He covered the Biafra secession in Nigeria, Vietnam, the violent birth of Bangladesh, Central American mayhem, Israeli wars, Lebanon, the Iron Curtain collapse, Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia, Rwanda, two Gulf Wars, Afghanistan, among others.
Based in Argentina in the 1970s, he broke the first stories on the “dirty war.” He wrote the first African famine stories in 1984. In 1989, he won the Overseas Press Club award and was short-listed for a Pulitzer for the fall of Romania. He danced on Red Square the night Communism died.
Rosenblum ran AP bureaus in Africa, Southeast Asia and South America before moving to Paris in 1977 as bureau chief for France and its former empire. As executive editor of the International Herald Tribune from 1979 to 1981, he oversaw the old Trib expansion from Paris to editions in Asia. He returned to AP as special correspondent to cover major global stories, traveling from Paris. He won AP’s top reporting award in 1990, 2000 and 2001.
“Mort Rosenblum, likely the most traveled correspondent in the history of journalism, has borne brilliant, incisive witness to reality in 200 countries, some that no longer exist.”
– Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us and Countdown
He left AP in 2005 and launched the quarterly, Dispatches, with co-editor Gary Knight. He directed an award-winning series on global fisheries collapse for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, wrote major pieces in Harpers, Monocle, GEO, along with an online blog and op-eds for the New York Times.
His 15 books range from “Squandering Eden”, a hard look at Africa, to “The Secret Life of the Seine,” a voyage down France’s magical river from its sources to the English Channel. “Olives: The Life and Lore of a Noble Fruit,” won a James Beard. “Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light,” won the IACP food writing award. Four books on reporting and the press failed spectacularly to save American journalism.
Rosenblum has contributed to Foreign Affairs, Vanity Fair, the New York Review of Books, Le Nouvel Observateur, Travel & Leisure, and Bon Appetit, among others. His honors include a Harry Chapin Award for an AP global series on water and a Mencken Award for African Famine. He was an Edward R. Murrow fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
For 14 years until 2021, he returned to Tucson to teach a brief course on international reporting at the University of Arizona, where he is now professor emeritus. In summers, he took Tufts University students to Kosovo, Kashmir, Cambodia, Vietnam and Argentina.
His French and Spanish are fluent; his Italian is passable, and his Portuguese is hysterical. He can say, “Don’t shoot, I’m a journalist,” in a lot of other languages. (Not that it helps.) He is married to Jeannette Hermann, world-class ambiance director, travel coordinator and astrologer. They divide their time among a Provence olive farm, an old teak boat in Paris and the Tucson foothills. Their cat, Streak, is neurotic but noble.