Fox Butterfield, Pulitzer-Winning ‘New York Times’ Reporter, Accepts Buyout

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By: E&P Staff

Fox Butterfield, the New York Times reporter who worked on the investigative team that uncovered the Pentagon Papers and won the newspaper a Pulitzer Prize in 1971, has accepted the paper’s buyout offer, according to a memo by executive editor Bill Keller.

Butterfield, 66, is one of several Times employees who have taken buyouts as The New York Times Co., attempts to trim its workforce by about 190 people.

Butterfield began his journalism career with the Times in 1969 while in Taiwan on a Fulbright scholarship. He served as a foreign correspondent and then was ordered back to the U.S.

He then served as a clerk, metro reporter, and bureau chief in Newark, N.J., where he was once beaten up while reporting on the city’s racial tensions.

In addition to exposing the Pentagon Papers, Butterfield also covered the final years of the Vietnam War, serving as the Times’ first reporter in Beijing after relations between the U.S. and China normalized in 1979.

In 1981, Butterfield relocated to Boston to write ?China: Alive in the Bitter Sea,? and served as the bureau chief for two different terms in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. For the last ten years, he’s been a national correspondent covering criminal justice.

Butterfield is also renown for his part in two scandals. In 1991, Butterfield was accused of lifting quotes from a Boston Globe story about plagiarism involving a Boston University dean. He also wrote a story in 1987 story about the Iran-Contra hearings that resulted in the Times’ first page-one correction.

Upon leaving the Times, Butterfield said he has a simple plan: “Enjoy life and write a book.”

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