Patricia Callahan, ProPublica

Patricia Callahan
Patricia Callahan, ProPublica
Senior Reporter

Patricia Callahan is a senior reporter covering business.

Callahan previously worked at the Chicago Tribune, where she was on the investigative team since 2004. There, she launched “Hidden Hazards,” a series that showed federal safety regulators were repeatedly failing to protect children from dangerous products. This work prompted the recall of more than 1 million baby products, spurred Congress to pass the largest overhaul of consumer product safety laws in a generation, and won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.

In 2012, Callahan and colleagues showed how harmful chemicals used as flame retardants on furniture were migrating into people’s bodies while providing no meaningful protection from fires. The work led to the repeal of a rule responsible for the use of these chemicals; it also won the Goldsmith prize and was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer for investigative reporting. Most recently, Callahan and a colleague were 2017 Pulitzer finalists for a series exposing how Illinois officials steered low-income adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities into substandard privately run group homes, then hid harm and even deaths.

Before the Tribune, Callahan worked at the Wall Street Journal, covering the food, pharmaceuticals and publishing industries. There, she revealed how newspaper publishers — including the Journal’s parent company — financially abandoned children injured or killed on their newspaper delivery routes. She came to the Journal from the Denver Post, where she was part of the team that covered the Columbine High School shootings.

Trish graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and was a Henry Luce Scholar in Bangkok.