Anthony DePalma was the first foreign correspondent of The New York Times to serve as bureau chief in both Mexico and Canada. Starting in 1993, he covered some of the most tumultuous events in modern Mexican history, including the Zapatista uprising, the assassination of the ruling party’s presidential candidate and the peso crisis that quickly spread economic chaos to markets all over the world. In 1996, he was transferred to the other end of America.
In Canada, he reported from all 10 provinces and three territories, covering natural disasters like the Quebec ice storm and the Red River flood — both once in a century occurrences — the 1997 federal elections that revealed deep regional divisions in Canada, and the historic Indian treaties in British Columbia. In addition, he wrote extensively about the creation of the territory of Nunavut, in which Inuit people formed their own government.
DePalma has also reported from Cuba, Guatemala, Suriname, Guyana, and, during the Kosovo crisis, Montenegro and Albania. His book “Here: A Biography of the New American Continent,” was published in the United States and Canada in 2001. An updated version, with a post-9/11 afterword, was published in 2002.
From 2000 to 2002, DePalma was an international business correspondent for The Times covering North and South America. During his tenure with The Times, he also has held positions in the Metropolitan and National sections of the newspaper. Most recently, he wrote about the working class and the environment in New York City. In 2003, he was awarded a fellowship at Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies, where he began work on his newest book “The Man Who Invented Fidel: Castro, Cuba and Herbert L. Matthews of The New York Times,” published in 2006 by Public Affairs. It has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.
DePalma has taught graduate seminars on international affairs at Columbia University and N.Y.U. In 2007, he was named a Hoover Media Fellow at Stanford University, and he delivered the annual Jane E. Ruby Lecture at Wheaton College. He was a finalist for a 2007 Emmy for his work on the television documentary “Toxic Legacy.”
In September 2008, DePalma was named writer-in-residence at Seton Hall University, where he teaches journalism and Latin American issues. In 2009, he was awarded the Maria Moors Cabot Prize for distinguished international journalism. His latest book, “City of Dust: Illness, Arrogance and 9/11” about the health and environmental aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center, was published in 2010 and was the basis of the CNN documentary “Terror in the Dust,” which was awarded the 2011 Sigma Delta Chi award for best documentary in a national market. He continues to write about Latin America and the environment for The New York Times and other publications, and is a frequent lecturer on the Americas.