2007 Hall of Fame Inductee, Philip Miller Boffey

Philip Miller Boffey
Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist

Philip M. Boffey is a member of the editorial board at The New York Times. He joined The Times as an editorial writer in July 1977, switched to the science reporting staff in September 1981 and joined the Washington bureau in July 1982. He returned to New York as deputy science and health editor in 1988, became science and health editor in 1989, and deputy editorial page editor in 1990.

Mr. Boffey was a member of two reporting teams that won Pulitzer Prizes: the first in 1986 for a series on the “Star Wars” missile defense system, the second in 1987 for coverage of the aftermath of the space shuttle Challenger disaster.

He served as president of the National Association of Science Writers, the leading professional group of science journalists, from 1984 to 1986 and is a director of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

Mr. Boffey began his career in journalism in 1961 as a reporter for The Wilmington (Del.) News-Journal. He joined The Chicago Daily News in 1964 and The Wall Street Journal in 1966. From 1967 to 1971 and again from 1975 to 1977 he was a reporter for Science, the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In the interim, he was managing editor of Science and Government Report, a Washington-based newsletter, and assistant editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Mr. Boffey is author of “The Brain Bank of America,” an investigation of the National Academy of Sciences, published in 1975. Mr. Boffey also received the American Psychiatric Association’s Robert T. Morse Award in 1987 for a series on schizophrenia; the American Association for the Advancement of Science-Estinghouse Science Journalism Award in 1986 for space shuttle coverage; the Page One Award of the Newspaper Guild of New York in 1986 for “Star Wars” coverage; and the National Association of Science Writers Science in Society journalism award for coverage of the swine flu immunization campaign in 1976.

Born in East Orange, New Jersey on March 23, 1936, Mr. Boffey attended the Nutley public schools from Kindergarten through 8th Grade (Yantacaw School and Nutley Junior High School) before completing his secondary education at the Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H., where he graduated as valedictorian. He received an A.B. degree, magna cum laude, in history, from Harvard College in 1958. He then took graduate courses in the history of science at the University of Delaware.

Mr. Boffey is married to Ronda Billig, a lawyer who served as founding president of the Irvington Education Foundation, which raises money for enrichment programs in the Irvington, N.Y. pubic schools. They have twin daughters, Ariana and Lara Boffey, and he has a son, Christopher Boffey, by a previous marriage.

Source: The New York Times, July 2007