During a 40-year career with United Press International and the Los Angeles Times, David Lamb gained a reputation as the quintessential foreign correspondent. He has reported from more than 100 countries on all seven continents and covered many of the worlds most compelling news stories, from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan. His reporting has been nominated for multiple Pulitzer Prizes.
David Lamb chronicled the overthrow of Idi Amin in Uganda (and ended up briefly in one of Amin’s jails), the massacres in Rwanda after talking his way across the Tanzanian border, the revolution in Iran, from which he was expelled by Ayatollah Khomeini, and the hunt for Osama bin Laden on Tora Bora mountain. He has traveled through all 51 African countries and every country in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Born and raised in Boston, Lamb left home in 1964 after graduating from the University of Maine and spending two years in the Army, headed west in his battered old Mercury, looking for a newspaper job. It wasn’t until he reached Las Vegas, down to his last twenty dollars, that he found a job offer. He went to work the next day at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, covering the police beat. “Newspapers became my ticket to explore the world and in my entire career, I never woke up a single morning bored, wishing I didn’t have to go to work,” Lamb says.
In 1968, Lamb volunteered for an assignment in Vietnam as a battlefield reporter for UPI. He spent two years there, then returned in 1975 to cover the fall of Saigon for the Los Angeles Times. Two decades later, in 1997, The Times sent him back to Vietnam for four years, this time based in Hanoi, to run the paper’s first peacetime Indochina bureau. “To discover that Vietnam is a country, not a war, was an extraordinarily rewarding and fascinating experience,” he recalls.
David Lamb’s work has appeared in numerous publications, from National Geographic to Sports Illustrated. He has been a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, an Alicia Patterson Fellow and a writer-in-residence at the University of Southern California. Lamb is the author of several books on subjects as diverse as Africa and minor league baseball. He is a member of the Maine Newspaper Hall of Fame.