“Journalism, for me, has always been a calling, There are things that must be exposed to the light, truths that must be uncovered, stories worth risking your life for.” – Leslie Cockburn
An American writer, producer and director, Cockburn has often found herself in situations where her life was at risk. But she relentlessly “followed the story,” traveling the globe to capture award-winning news, features and documentaries alike. Born in California on this date in 1952, Cockburn now makes her home in Washington, D.C., with her husband Andrew, also a journalist and film producer with whom she has produced programs and co-authored several books.
Right out of college she went to work making films, but was drawn to journalism working as both a feature reporter and producer for NBC, CBS, ABC and PBS, where she made documentary features for the program Front Line. In 2009, she directed and co-produced (with Andrew) American Casino, the story of the origins, progress and consequences of the subprime mortgage disaster that led to the greatest U.S. financial crisis since the Great Depression. The film is considered the “go to” film about that crisis.
“When you are on assignment, you stick to the facts, limit your vision, and often cut out the most revealing material,” she has said about her reporting and producing style. “(For a reporter) there is no texture, no shades of gray.”
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