Ellen Goodman (born April 11, 1941) has spent most of her life chronicling social change and its impact on American life. As a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, she was one of the first women to open up the oped pages to women’s voices and became, according to Media Watch, the most widely syndicated progressive columnist in the country.
Today she continues that work from her observation post as a writer, speaker, commentator and nonprofit leader.
At the heart of Ellen’s her work is The Conversation Project, a public health campaign and a movement, that works to change the way people talk about, and prepare for their end-of-life care.
Ellen tells the story of serving as her mother’s caregiver with honesty and humor, delivering her mission and spreading the value of having “The Conversation” at conferences, lectures and workshops nationwide.
She currently serves as a Prime Mover and an Ashoka fellow, for her work as a social entrepreneur offering innovative approaches to solving long-standing social problems. She’s also had a seat on the board of Encore.org for more than five years, helping people use their passions, skills and decades of experience to make a difference in our communities and the world.
Ellen began her career as a researcher for Newsweek magazine in the days when only men wrote for the newsweekly. She landed a job as a reporter for the Detroit Free Press in 1965 and, in 1967, for The Boston Globe where she began writing her column in 1974 which was syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group two years later. She wrote her twice-weekly column until 2010 when she left with a column about the virtues of “letting myself go.”
She’s a seven time author and in 1980, won the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Commentary. Ellen is also the recipient of many other honors for her work in the field, including the American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award and the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
She was honored with the President’s Award by the National Women’s Political Caucus and was also presented the American Woman Award by the Women’s Research & Education Institute. In 2008, she won the Ernie Pyle Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Society of Newspaper columnists.
A 1963 cum laude graduate of Radcliffe College, Goodman returned to Harvard in 1973-74 as a Nieman Fellow, where she studied the dynamics of social change, and again in 2007 as a Shorenstein Fellow.
Ellen has a daughter, stepdaughter, two grandchildren and lives with her husband, Robert Levey in Boston.