Hank Klibanoff was born in Florence, Alabama, and grew up witnessing the evolution of race relations in the South. Those experiences, along with his 35 years as a newspaper reporter and editor, were key influences as he researched and co-wrote The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle and the Awakening of a Nation. The book won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for history.
Klibanoff, who was managing editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for six years until last year, is now managing editor of the Cold Case Truth and Justice Project, which uses investigative reporting to dig out the truth behind unsolved racial murders that took place during the 60-year civil rights era in the South. The project, led by the Center for Investigative Reporting, is using reporters, filmmakers, multimedia experts, public interest advocacy groups, lawyers and archivists to fill in history's huge gaps, to correct its myths and to bring justice, reconciliation and, where possible, criminal prosecution.
He worked for The Boston Globe for three years, then for The Philadelphia Inquirer for 20 years, including three as the newspaper's Midwest correspondent, based in Chicago and responsible for a 12-state region.