Linda Greenhouse

On this date in 1947, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Linda Greenhouse, a staunch advocate of state-church separation, was born in New York City to H. Robert Greenhouse, a physician, and Dorothy Greenlick Greenhouse, a 1941 graduate of Hunter College. She grew up in Hamden, Conn., later earning a B.A. in government while graduating magna cum laude in 1968 from Radcliffe College, where she was an editor at the Harvard Crimson, worked as a stringer for the Boston Herald and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

She joined The New York Times in 1968 as a news clerk to columnist James Reston, then worked as a reporter and Capitol bureau chief covering the legislature in Albany. After a year at Yale Law School, where she earned a master of studies in law degree in 1978, Greenhouse joined the Times’ Washington staff and started a 30-year career reporting on the U.S. Supreme Court.

She won the Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting in 1998, the American Political Science Association’s 2002 Carey McWilliams Award for “a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics” and the 2004 Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism from Harvard University’s Kennedy School. Accepting a Radcliffe Institute Medalist award in 2006, she decried “the sustained assault on women’s reproductive freedom and the hijacking of public policy by religious fundamentalism.”

She ended her tenure as a reporter at the Times in 2008 while continuing to write a biweekly op-ed column on law as a contributing columnist. As of this writing, Greenhouse is the Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law and Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence at Yale Law School and president of the American Philosophical Society. Her husband, Eugene Fidell, is the Florence Rogatz Lecturer in Law at Yale, and their daughter Hannah is a filmmaker in Los Angeles.

Her books include Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun’s Supreme Court Journey (2005), Before Roe v. Wade: Voices That Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court’s Ruling (with Reva Siegel, 2011), The U.S. Supreme Court: A Very Short Introduction (2012), The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right (with Michael Graetz, 2016) and Just a Journalist: Reflections on the Press, Life, and the Spaces Between (2017).

Greenhouse, speaking at FFRF’s 33rd national convention in October 2010 in Madison, Wis., said she admires the foundation’s work and always finds briefs filed by its attorneys “refreshing and very enlightening.” Her speech addressed “Monumental questions” before the Supreme Court. 

Freedom From Religion Foundation