John Aloysius Farrell is the author of Clarence Darrow: Attorney For The Damned, a biography of America's greatest defense attorney, and of Tip O'Neill and the Democratic Century, the definitive account of House Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill Jr. and his times.
He is currently at work on "Richard Nixon: An American Tragedy," a biography of that most enigmatic 37th president of the United States.
Farrell is an American journalist and author. He is a contributing editor and correspondent to National Journal magazine and The Atlantic, after a prize-winning career as a newspaperman, most notably at The Denver Post and The Boston Globe.
His biography of Clarence Darrow was awarded the Los Angeles Times book prize for the best biography of 2011, and won critical praise from reviewers and fellow writers.
"This book is a joy and revelation. It is at once a rollicking tour through the mind of a legal genius and a spellbinding account of some of the most famous cases in American history. The chapter on Leopold and Loeb alone is worth waiting in line to get a seat in Jack Farrell's courtroom," said David Maraniss, biographer of Bill Clinton and Vince Lombardi, and author of When Pride Still Mattered and They Marched into Sunlight.
Kirkus Reviews gave the Darrow book a starred review, which it awards "to books of remarkable merit." The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Miami Herald and The Washington Times all hailed the book.
Jack wrote the O'Neill biography while working as White House correspondent and Washington editor for The Boston Globe. It was published by Little, Brown and Co. in 2001.
His lecture on Tip O'Neill was published by the House of Representatives in The Cannon Centenary Conference: the Changing Nature of the Speakership in 2003. The conference was sponsored by the Congressional Research Service, the Library of Congress, and the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center. Farrell shared the podium with House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert and former Speakers Newt Gingrich, Tom Foley and Jim Wright. You can read it here at:http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/cdocuments/hd108-204/text/oneill.html
Farrell was awarded a Dirksen Congressional Center research grant for his biography of O'Neill. It also won the D.B. Hardeman Prize in 2003 for the best writing on Congress from the University of Texas and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation.
Jack has covered Congress, the Supreme Court and every American presidential campaign since 1980. He wrote a national political column for The Denver Post and commentary for the Thomas Jefferson Street blog for US News, and was a founding correspondent at GlobalPost. He has served as Washington bureau chief for The Denver Post, and the MediaNews chain. He has reported from Northern Ireland, Iraq, Israel and other foreign nations. In 2011, he served as a senior political correspondent for The Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit center for investigative journalism in Washington, D.C.
In 1996, Jack received the Gerald R. Ford prize and the Aldo Beckman Award from the White House Correspondents Association for coverage of the presidency, the first time anyone had captured both awards in a single year. He has also won the 2001 Raymond Clapper Memorial Award for distinguished Washington reporting, the 1990 Roy Howard Public Service Prize, and a George Polk Award in 1984.
During his tenure as Washington editor for the Globe, members of the 10-person staff won a George Polk award, the Raymond Clapper prize and the Aldo Beckman award.
As an investigative reporter, Farrell's work spurred congressional investigations by the House Appropriations Committee on the exploitation and theft of Native American natural resources (1985) and on the failure of the U.S. Justice Department to prosecute rape and other felony cases on Indian Reservations (1986); by the House Energy and Commerce Committee (1984) on faulty medical devices, and by the House Government Operations Committee (1991) on the failures of the Patriot missile during the Gulf War.
A 1989 investigation conducted by Jack and other members of the Globe "Spotlight" team probed the conduct of municipal judges in Massachusetts and led to the appointment of a special master, whose report resulted in the resignation of three judges, and other reforms.
Jack was born on Long Island and attended Holy Family High School in Huntington, NY and Robert E. Peary High School in Montgomery County, Md. He graduated from the University of Virginia "with distinction" in 1975. In his newspaper career, he has worked on the Annapolis Evening Capital, the Baltimore News American, The Boston Globe and The Denver Post. He is married, and has two children and an Australian Shepherd named Charlie.
Farrell has served as a guest lecturer for classes at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the United States Military Academy, Dartmouth College, the University of Pennsylvania and other universities and colleges.
Farrell was an editor and writer for The Boston Globe's biographical series on Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, and the subsequent book, John F. Kerry, published by Public Affairs in 2004.
In 2004, Jack Beatty chose an excerpt from "Tip O'Neill and the Democratic Century" for inclusion in his anthology "Pols: Great Writers on American Politicians from Bryan to Reagan." Beatty's book is a grand chowder of political writing that includes such authors as John Dos Passos, H.L.Mencken, Robert Caro, David McCullough, Norman Mailer, Philip Roth, Mike Royko, Garry Wills and Richard Ben Cramer.