David Halberstam (April 10, 1934 – April 23, 2007) was an American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author known for his early work on the Vietnam War, his work on politics, history, business, media, American culture, and his later sports journalism.
Halberstam was of Eastern European ancestry and, after the family relocated numerous times, was raised in Yonkers, New York. Prior to that, the family had lived in Winsted, Connecticut (where he was a classmate of Ralph Nader). He graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor of arts in 1955, and also served as managing editor of the University's daily newspaper, The Harvard Crimson. He started his career writing for the Daily Times Leader in West Point, Mississippi. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, writing for The Tennessean in Nashville, Tennessee, he covered the beginnings of the American Civil Rights Movement.
In the mid-1960s, Halberstam covered the Civil Rights Movement for The New York Times. In the spring of 1967, he traveled with Martin Luther King from New York City to Cleveland and then to Berkeley for a Harper's article "The Second Coming of Martin Luther King." While at the Times, he gathered material for his book The Making of a Quagmire: America and Vietnam during the Kennedy Era. In 1963, he received a George Polk Award for his reporting at The New York Times, including his eyewitness account of the self-immolation of Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Ðức. At the age of 30, he won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the war. He is interviewed in the 1968 documentary film on the Vietnam War entitled In the Year of the Pig.