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Robert Samuels

  • 2023 Pulitzer Prize winner for His Name is George Floyd: One Man's Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice
  • Staff Writer for The New Yorker


Robert Samuels, acclaimed journalist and author, reached new literary stature after winning the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction with the book His Name Is George Floyd: One Man's Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice. Using George Floyd's story as context for America's troubled history of institutional racism, Robert's insights reveal how a man who simply wanted to breathe ended up touching the world. The Pulitzer board described the book as “an intimate, riveting portrait of an ordinary man whose fatal encounter with police officers in 2020 sparked an international movement for social change, but whose humanity and complicated personal story were unknown.”

Currently a staff writer at the New Yorker magazine, Robert recently completed 12 years as a highly-regarded investigative reporter at the Washington Post. Throughout his work he offers his worldview on humanity, race, and democracy. His work has been a part of teams earning the George Polk Award, the Peabody Award, and the National Association of Black Journalists Award for Investigative Reporting.

At ease in front of any group, Robert presents stimulating commentary regarding critical issues affecting all Americans. Thoughtful and engaging, he energizes audiences with stories from uncommon people and places, diving into background details to share new understandings with all.

Born and raised in New York City, Robert graduated with special recognition from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where he is the only student to have served as Editor-in-Chief at both the school newspaper and the Black student magazine. An adjunct faculty member at Wake Forest University, Mr. Samuels teaches a seminar on the history of race reporting and its impact on democracy.



It was so exciting to hear these two brilliant authors speak at Morehouse College, as they shared with faculty, staff and students some of the behind-the-scenes events that brought clarity and even more questions about why Floyd's life ended so tragically. His journey shows us how one person's life experiences can affect so many other lives in so many different ways. Wake up America we are all Hu-MANS!!!

Morehouse College

Robert was a wonderful addition to our Summit. We are delighted he could join. His session discussions were richer for it.

Mary-Frances Wain, Chief Engagement Officer, Prosperity

In painstaking detail and textured storytelling, Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa reveal how George Floyd fought to live his entire life. Since we know George Floyd's death with tragic clarity, we must know Floyd's America—and life—with tragic clarity. His Name Is George Floyd is essential for our times.

Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist

A much-needed portrait of the life, times, and martyrdom of George Floyd, a chronicle of the racial awakening sparked by his brutal and untimely death, and an essential work of history I hope everyone will read.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., author of The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song

Keywords: George Floyd, Black Lives Matter, BLM, diversity, inclusion, author, journalist, policing, social justice, civil rights

Book Robert Samuels