Ford Burkhart

About Ford Burkhart

Ford Burkhart taught in the journalism program from 1976 to 1996 and is currently a freelance writer based in Tucson.

He writes for AARP publications – here’s a piece on President Gene Sander, a lively tale on Jack Vaughn, and a piece on the older heroes of Jan. 8, 2011. Here is the Spanish version

Burkhart writes about science and technology for various publications. Here’s one from the SPIE site: 

He also writes for the UA Alumnus magazine – from profiles, including UA President Shelton, to the new football coach, Rich Rodriguez, to the economic recovery.

Burkhart also writes for Research Corporation, describing research in fields like astrophysics or nanoscience and has written profiles of top scientists for organizations like the BIO5 Institute. 

At The New York Times, he wrote science obituaries for Science Times while a staff editor at the Foreign Desk for most of his 11 years through 2007. He wrote for the Health Watch column and for the television magazine. Burkhart also edited coverage of global science and medical issues like AIDS and climate change. 

Burkhart has a Ph.D. in public administration from ASU, an M.A. in communications from Stanford, and a B.A. in history and in journalism from the University of Arizona.  

Brief resume

  • Freelance writer, 1964 to date.  Focus on science, medicine and technology.
  • New York Times, staff editor on Foreign, Bizday, Metro, National, Travel and Editorial Pages. 1996 to 2007.  For several years he was the Foreign Desk’s late slot, closing the pages at 3 a.m. He helped edit several projects that won Pulitzer Prizes. 
  • Journalism professor, University of Arizona, 1976 to 1996.
  • Los Angeles Times staff editor, Foreign Desk, summers while at the University of Arizona.
  • Associated Press political writer, supervisor of the Foreign Desk, U.N. writer, 1969 to1976.
  • U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Malaysia, 1967 to 1969.
  • Miami Herald, bureau chief and reporter. 1964 to 1967.

Burkhart played a role as a writer of "Portraits of Grief" and other parts of the 9/11 package in The New York Times that won the Pulitzer Prize. 

He has had three Fulbright awards to teach journalism to midcareer and college journalists, in Nigeria, Uganda, Singapore and Malaysia. He received an Asia Foundation grant for midcareer journalism training in Mongolia and other grants for lecturing in Thailand, Bangladesh, Lesotho and Zambia. Burkhart was head of the journalism programs at the University of Jos, Nigeria; Makerere University in Uganda; and the American University in Cairo for two years.


Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1942. Moved to Tucson in 1946. Attended Roskruge Junior High, Tucson High and Catalina High. Enjoy working on a 1917 Craftsman style house in West University neighborhood.

Links to work

Ford Burkhart's picture

Contact Information

Ford Burkhart
Professor Emeritus