Alex Tizon, 57
PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING FILIPINO-AMERICAN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST Alex Tizon died in his sleep due to natural causes in Oregon, USA. He was 57.
According to his family and the University of Oregon (UO) where he was working as an assistant professor of journalism, Tizon died unexpectedly at his home in Eugene, Oregon, last Thursday March 23.
Scott Maier, journalism director of UO said, “His death is a tragic loss not only to his family but to the entire SOJC (School of Journalism and Communication) community.” (“Pulitzer prize-winning School Journalism professor Alex Tizon dies at 58,” Daily Emerarld)
Tizon was born in Manila and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1964. He spent his 17 years working as a reporter for the Seattle Times where he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for investigative reporting exposing the widespread corruption and inequalities in the federally sponsored housing programs for Native Americans. He was the second Philippine-born journalist to win a Pulitzer. (“SOJC professor, Pulitzer Prize winner Alex Tizon has died,” journalism.uoregon.edu)
He also worked as a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, such as reporting the September 11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina. He co-produced a segment on mail-order brides in Asia for the TV news show “60 Minutes”, and was a frequent contributor to The Atlantic Magazine, and Newsweek magazine.
Tizon’s family, friends and colleagues know him as a deep listener who preferred to dive headfirst into complicated, long-form stories that are becoming rarer in today’s fast-paced media cycle.
His wife, Melissa Tizon said, “He was very curious about other people – and learning about other people helped him learn about himself. That’s what journalism did for him. His whole life quest was about trying to understand who he was, as an immigrant growing up in a largely white community.” ( “Alex Tizon, former Seattle Times reporter who won Pulitzer Prize, dies at 57,” The Seattle Times)
Tizon chronicled his experiences and struggles as an Asian-American man in a 2014 memoir, “Big Little Man: The Search for My Asian Self.”
From 2009 to 2010, Tizon returned to the Philippines as a Knight International Journalism Fellow, using crowdsourcing to help the media keep track of the government efforts to combat poverty.
Aside from his wife, Tizon is survived by his two daughters, Dylan, 26, and Maya, 17, along with his eight siblings.