Diana B. Henriques, an award-winning financial journalist, is the author of The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust, a New York Times bestseller, and three other books on business history. Her fifth book, A First-Class Catastrophe: The Road to Black Monday, the Worst Day in Wall Street History, will be published in September 2017. As a staff writer for The New York Times from 1989 to 2012 and as a contributing writer since then, she has largely specialized in investigative reporting on white-collar crime, market regulation and corporate governance.
In May 2017, HBO will air its film-length adaptation of The Wizard of Lies, with Robert De Niro in the starring role — and with Ms. Henriques playing herself as the first journalist to interview Madoff in prison.
An avid reader and reviewer of financial histories, Ms. Henriques is also the author of Fidelity’s World: The Secret Life and Public Power of the Mutual Fund Giant (1995), The White Sharks of Wall Street: Thomas Mellon Evans and The Original Corporate Raiders (2000), and The Machinery of Greed: Public Authority Abuse and What To Do About It. (1986).
Ms. Henriques was a member of a reporting team that was named a Pulitzer finalist in 2003 for its coverage of the aftermath of the Enron scandals. She was also a member of a team that won a 1999 Gerald Loeb Award for covering the near-collapse of Long Term Capital Management, a hedge fund whose troubles rocked the financial markets in September 1998.
She was one of four reporters honored in 1996 by the Deadline Club, the New York City chapter of the Sigma Delta Chi professional journalism society, for a series on how wealthy Americans legally sidestep taxes. She has explored the expansion of tax breaks, regulatory exemptions and Congressional earmarks for religious nonprofits, and helped monitor commodity markets and money market funds in the financial turmoil of late 2008.
After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, Ms. Henriques widened her focus to work with her colleague at The Times, David Barstow, in covering the management of billions of dollars in charity and victim assistance as part of the paper’s award-winning section, “A Nation Challenged.” She also chronicled the fate of Cantor Fitzgerald, the Wall Street firm that suffered the largest death toll in the World Trade Center attacks.
But she is proudest of her 2004 series exposing the exploitation of American military personnel by financial service companies. Her work prompted legislative reform and cash reimbursements for tens of thousands of defrauded service members, drawing recognition and thanks from military lawyers and families across the country. For that series, she was a Pulitzer finalist in 2005 and received a George Polk Award, Harvard’s Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and the Worth Bingham Prize.
Born in Texas but raised mostly in Roanoke, Va., Ms. Henriques is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of what is now the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University in Washington. While a student there, she met and, in 1969, married her husband Larry. They live in Hoboken, N.J. Since an injury in late 1997, Ms. Henriques has used voice-recognition software for all her major writing projects and has coached more than a dozen injured writers at other publications on making the transition to voice-recognition writing.
Ms. Henriques was awarded a Ferris professorship in writing at Princeton University for the 2012-2013 academic year, and is a frequent guest lecturer for business journalism classes and workshops elsewhere. From 2003 to 2016, she served on the board of governors of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), and in 2011, she was elected to the board of trustees of The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.