Dale Russakoff spent twenty-eight years as a reporter for the Washington Post, covering politics, education, social policy, and other topics. From 1994 to 2008, she served in the Post’s New York Bureau and wrote numerous articles about Newark, New Jersey. Her 2015 book, The Prize, about Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million gift to the Newark schools was the runner up for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize and was named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker and The Atlantic. Her work also has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times and the (Newark) Star-Ledger. She has spent the last year reporting and writing about undocumented immigrants, including a New York Times Magazine cover story on DACA.
Dale grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and credits her parents with encouraging her to question the politics of the world around her, particularly the racial segregation and inequity in her own hometown. She dedicated her book to their memory, as that encouragement led her to a lifelong career in investigating and reporting social issues.
The Prize, serialized in The New Yorker, is her first book. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with her husband Matthew Purdy, an editor at The New York Times. They have two grown sons.