The Columns

Investigative Reporter Stephen Kurkjian to Give Talk at W&L

— by on September 17th, 2015

Acclaimed investigative reporter Stephen Kurkjian will deliver a talk at Washington and Lee University on Sept. 28 at 5:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library.

Kurkjian will speak about “Master Thieves: The Boston Gangsters Who Pulled Off the World’s Greatest Art Heist,” the title of his book which chronicles the investigation into the theft of $500 million in art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum more than 25 years ago. His talk is free and open to the public.

This event is hosted by W&L’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communications.

A 40-year veteran of the Boston Globe working mostly as an investigative journalist, Kurkjian specialized in writing about political and government corruption and art theft.

He began his career covering local news. In 1969, he covered Senator Ted Kennedy’s fatal accident on Martha’s Vineyard Chappaquiddick Island and the Woodstock Rock Festival.

Kurkjian was a founding member of The Globe’s investigative Spotlight Team, later becoming its editor. As a member, he shared in three Pulitzer prizes. In 1986, he was appointed chief of The Globe’s Washington bureau and covered the Justice Department, Supreme Court and the first Bush White House, among other beats.

After returning to Boston, he became the paper’s first project editor, overseeing investigative reporting, including inadequate mental health services for Massachusetts prisoners, the Rhode Island rock club fire which killed 100 people and the theft of numerous paintings, including works by Rembrandt and Vermeer, from the Gardner Museum in Boston.

After his retirement in 2007, Kurkjian wrote “Master Thieves: The Boston Gangsters Who Pulled Off the World’s Greatest Art Heist” (2015). He has also written and spoken on the Armenian genocide of 1915, a horrific massacre by the Ottoman Turkish Empire of more than a million Armenians, including Kurkjian’s grandfather.

He received a B.A. from Boston University and is a graduate of Suffolk Law School.