reporter, San Francisco Chronicle
Fagan was born in Auburn, California and earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism at San Jose State University. One of his first reporting jobs was as a general assignment stringer for United Press International in New Zealand and Australia. He worked for three years at the Lodi News-Sentinel as a reporter and city editor before moving to the Oakland Tribune in 1985, where he was a reporter, assistant news editor and assistant city editor for seven years. Since 1992, he has worked for the San Francisco Chronicle. Except for a few years as East Bay Bureau chief, Fagan has spent his career at the Chronicle as a general assignment reporter covering breaking news stories ranging from the Columbine High massacre and Ground Zero on 9-11 to witnessing executions and reporting on southern California wildfires. His many news features and projects have included investigations into Indian casino gambling, stories of the inside lives of Nevada prostitutes, and profiles of UFO fans in Roswell, New Mexico. Since 2003, he has been one of the few reporters nationwide solely focused on covering the homeless, chronicling the lives of the most chronic cases on the street and examining the programs being run to help them in San Francisco and around the country. Fagan has won a number of awards for his work over the years, many of them for his homeless coverage, including the 2005 James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism; the 2005 Heywood Broun Award of Substantial Distinction; third place in the 2005 National Headliner Awards and the National Excellence in Urban Journalism Award from the Enterprise Foundation and the Freedom Forum for “Shame of the City,” a five-part series on homelessness in San Francisco.
Information on this page is from the fellowship year.