The University of Toledo Commencement


Michael Sallah

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Michael Sallah:
a national investigative reporter for USA TODAY/Gannett newspapers

Michael Sallah is a University of Toledo graduate and veteran journalist who distinguished himself during his career with a rare double achievement: winning Pulitzer Prizes for investigative reporting as both a reporter and an editor.

He is perhaps best known as a lead reporter for the Toledo Blade during an investigation that exposed the longest war crimes case of the Vietnam War and subsequent cover-up by the Pentagon. The stories won a host of national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 2004.

He later became investigations editor for The Miami Herald, where he led a team that won nearly every award in American journalism, including another Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for stories that turned up massive corruption in public housing.

In another series of stories, he and other members of his team uncovered wretched and deadly conditions in Florida's assisted living facilities that prompted the shut down of 13 of the worst group homes in the state and a governor's task force to overhaul state law. For their efforts, they were recognized as Pulitzer Prize finalists for Meritorious Public Service.

He spent two years at The Washington Post, where he received a Robert F. Kennedy Award for an investigation that exposed a predatory system of tax collection in the District that allowed troubled companies to take homes from poor people for small tax debts, then flip the properties for millions of dollars.

He returned two years later to The Miami Herald, where he was named a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Local Reporting for his work that revealed one of the nation's most corrupt sting operations, a police unit that laundered $71.5 million for the drug cartels -- kept millions of dollars for brokering the deals — and never made a single arrest. The work sparked an ongoing federal grand jury investigation. He is co-author of the book, Yankee Comandante: The Untold Story of Courage, Passion and One American's Fight to Liberate Cuba (Lyons Press: 2015).

He is now a national investigative reporter for USA TODAY/Gannett newspapers and resides in South Florida with his wife, Judi, and children, Casey, Christian and Ryann.

Last Updated: 6/27/22