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Author Kurt Eichenwald to Lecture at Southern Methodist University

New York Times best-selling author Kurt Eichenwald will give the William J. O’Neil Lecture in Business Journalism at Southern Methodist University (SMU) at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. Eichenwald will discuss his controversial new book, 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars, which details the U.S. government’s response to the 9/11 terror attacks. The lecture takes place in Room 241 of the Umphrey Lee Center, 3300 Dyer St. on the SMU campus. Admission is free, and tickets are not required. For further information call 214-768-3695. The O’Neil Lecture Series is presented by the Division of Journalism at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

Eichenwald’s 500 Days chronicles the 18 months following 9/11 and lays bare the harrowing decisions, deceptions and delusions that changed America and the world forever.  Through a fly-on-the-wall style and true-to-life dialogue, 500 Days brings readers behind closed doors to reveal how the secrets and lies from those early days continue to drive modern developments in the terror wars – from the upcoming Guantanamo trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, to the plans to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan, to President Obama’s orders targeting Bin Laden and other high-ranking al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan, to al Qaeda’s recent plans to bring down airliners with bombs that can be easily missed by metal detectors.

Eichenwald is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and previously worked for 20 years at The New York Times as an investigative reporter, columnist and senior writer.  He won the George Polk Award for excellence in journalism in 1996 for his articles about deficiencies in the American system of dialysis care, and again in 1998 for a series of articles about allegations of corruption at the nation’s largest private hospital chain, the Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation.  In 2000, he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting for a series of articles about how business interests were influencing the system for medical clinical trials.

Eichenwald is the author of three bestselling books about high-profile corporate corruption. His first, Serpent on the Rock (Harper Collins, 1995), is about the Prudential Securities scandal. His second book, The Informant: A True Story (Random House, 2000), is about the Archer Daniels Midland price-fixing case and was a finalist for a J. Anthony Lukas Prize and the Investigative Reporters and Editors Book Award. It was called “one of the best nonfiction books of the decade” by The New York Times Book Review and made into a major motion picture starring Matt Damon. Conspiracy of Fools (Broadway, 2005) is about the Enron scandal.

The William J. O’Neil Lecture Series in Business Journalism brings outstanding business journalism professionals to the Southern Methodist University campus each semester. It is part of a cooperative program in financial reporting developed in 2007 by the Meadows School Division of Journalism and the Cox School of Business at SMU, through funding from William J. O’Neil, an SMU alumnus and chairman and CEO of Investor’s Business Daily.

The Division of Journalism, under Belo Distinguished Chair Tony Pederson, offers concentrations in all media – broadcast, print and Internet – through its journalism convergence program. With the help of a gift from the Belo Foundation, the Division has become one of the few journalism schools in the country to provide hands-on experience through a new digital newsroom, television studio and Web site.

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