Button Menu
Doug Frantz '71 in front of a lake and trees on his Canada property

Ever-changing challenges

He wanted to be a poet or a fiction writer.

But Doug Frantz ’71 instead became a newspaper reporter and editor for 37 years. He is a veteran of the best newspapers in America – The New York Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal – undertaking investigations, reporting from 40 countries and covering issues such as national security and war.

He was a member of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team and, in his own right, twice a finalist. Author or co-author with his wife Catherine Collins of 10 nonfiction books, with an 11th set for publication in July. Chief investigator looking into and reporting on the failure of U.S. troops to capture Osama bin Laden before he escaped to Pakistan in 2001. Deputy staff director for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and an assistant secretary of state.

He credits his success to “luck, networking and some skill” – specifically, the ability to “adapt as a reporter to the changing world. … What I loved most of all about journalism was the ever-changing challenges and the ability to grow in the job to find new challenges and new horizons.”

Frantz started working at The DePauw in his sophomore year as “a way to work on my writing skills. And it was a way to satisfy my curiosity about some of the things going on in and around DePauw.”

The newspaper, he said, “applied a polish to my work. I had an editor for the first time … and I had standards to be met. And so that was when I began to understand journalism standards.” He came to love “the camaraderie of journalism. … It was the first time I’d worked on anything, really, as part of a team. And so that was important to me. And it also reinforced that idea that journalists can make a difference.”

The would-be fiction writer who still writes poetry also came to believe “that there's a real truth out there, and that journalism’s job is to find it. And I believed that even then at The DePauw.”

  • Share
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Email