Anthony DePalma spent 22 years as a reporter and foreign correspondent for The New York Times, serving as Bureau Chief in Mexico and Canada. At The Times he also was an international business correspondent covering the Americas, a national correspondent covering higher education, and a metro reporter covering housing, the working class, and the environment. He has focused his journalism on Latin America, especially Mexico and Cuba, but he has also traveled widely and reported from places as diverse as Albania, Montenegro, Guyana, and Suriname.
His interest in Cuba is both professional and personal. He is married to Miriam Rodriguez, who was born in Cuba and came to the United States after the 1959 Revolution. He first visited Cuba in 1979 during the brief thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations during the administration of Jimmy Carter and has been back many times since then to report and to visit family.
In 2001 he published "Here: A Biography of the New American Continent," which was re-released as an e-book in 2014. His second book, published in 2006, was "The Man Who Invented Fidel," about the rise of Fidel Castro and the impact that Castro, and journalism, have had on U.S.-Cuba relations. The book has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, and the film rights were purchased by Moxie Pictures. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attack, he wrote nearly 100 of the “Portraits of Grief” that won a Pulitzer for The Times in 2001.
He left The Times in 2008 to become writer-in-residence at Seton Hall University, where he continued writing while teaching classes on international relations and journalism. While there, he completed his third book, "City of Dust," about the environmental and health crises that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The book was the basis of a CNN documentary “Terror in the Dust,” which won the Society of Professional Journalists’ award for best documentary in 2011.
He has taught at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism since 2009.
Among his many professional recognitions are a 2007 Emmy finalist for “Toxic Legacy,” a documentary co-production of The New York Times and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. In 2009, Columbia University awarded him the Maria Moors Cabot Award for distinguished international reporting. He has been named a media fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, and a visiting scholar at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame.
He continues to write and lecture about Latin America and the environment, while also reporting on many other subjects. His latest book is "The Cubans: Ordinary Lives in Extraordinary Times," published in 2020, by Viking, an imprint of Penguin/ Random House, in the U.S., and by Bodley Head in the U.K. It has been translated into Bulgarian, Chinese, Korean and Polish.