Richard Lehr

Professor, Journalism
College of Communication

Expertise:
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Education:

BA, Harvard College

JD, University of Connecticut School of Law

John S. Knight Journalism Fellow, Stanford University

Visiting Journalist, Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Brandeis University

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Professor Lehr is a veteran journalist and author who worked at the Boston Globe for nearly two decades, where he was primarily an investigative reporter but also served as a magazine, legal affairs and feature writer. He has won numerous national and regional journalism and book awards, and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in investigative reporting. He… Read more

Professor Lehr is a veteran journalist and author who worked at the Boston Globe for nearly two decades, where he was primarily an investigative reporter but also served as a magazine, legal affairs and feature writer. He has won numerous national and regional journalism and book awards, and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in investigative reporting.

He is the author of The Fence: A Police Cover-up Along Boston’s Racial Divide, and co-author of Judgment Ridge: The True Story Behind the Dartmouth MurdersBlack Mass: The Irish Mob, The FBI and a Devil’s Deal, and The Underboss: the Rise and Fall of a Mafia Family.

In the Media

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  • Documentary Resurrects Civil Rights Crusader’s Battle To Ban ‘Birth Of A Nation’ In 1915 Boston

    January 31, 2017

    WBUR Dick Lehr, College of Communication D.W. Griffith’s “The Birth of a Nation” was America’s first epic blockbuster, and the first feature film to screen at the White House… Expert quote: “He was a big deal in the early 1900s — not just in Boston — but nationally,”  View full article

  • A fresh look at a forgotten battle for civil rights, fought in Boston

    January 31, 2017

    Boston Globe Dick Lehr, College of Communication In the spring of 1915, Boston roiled with protests the likes of which few had seen before: thousands of African-Americans rallying on the Common, marching on the State House, congregating at Faneuil Hall, and gathering in front of the Tremont Theatre to decry “The Birth of a Nation,” […]

  • When ‘Birth of a Nation’ sparked a riot in Boston

    October 6, 2016

    Boston Globe By Dick Lehr, College of Communication “In his directorial debut dramatizing the Nat Turner slave rebellion of 1831, Nate Parker has grabbed for his own film the title of D.W. Griffith’s three-hour epic “The Birth of a Nation” from a century ago…” View full op-ed

  • ‘Birth of a Nation’ arrives amid hype, conflict

    October 5, 2016

    Asbury Park Press Dick Lehr, College of Communication What’s in a name? Plenty – if the name is as fraught as “The Birth of a Nation…” Expert quote: “This was a passion project for [Parker], it wasn’t easily made or accomplished. He had to pull out all the stops to pull it off.” View full article

  • The murky ethics of Gay Talese’s ‘The Voyeur’s Motel’

    April 15, 2016

    The Conversation US By Dick Lehr, College of Communication Talese has been criticized for not notifying authorities about Foos’ privacy invasions, as well as Foos’ eyewitness account of a murder apparently committed in 1977 in Room 10. (Bizarrely, Talese found no official record of such a crime.)… View full article by expert Dick Lehr

  • ‘Birth Of A Race’: The Obscure Demise Of A Would-Be Rebuttal To Racism

    October 25, 2015

    NPR “All Things Considered” Dick Lehr, College of Communication D.W. Griffith was an American master, whose stirring visuals as a filmmaker overwhelmed the viewers of his time… View full article and listen to audio of expert Dick Lehr

  • The Murky World Of FBI Informants

    September 25, 2015

    NPR “On Point” Dick Lehr, College of Communication The world of FBI informants, from “Black Mass” and Whitey Bulger to the thousands out there right now… Listen to audio of expert Dick Lehr

  • Talking to the Journalist Who Literally Wrote the Book on Whitey Bulger

    September 18, 2015

    Vice Dick Lehr, College of Communication For nearly two decades, James “Whitey” Bulger ruled Boston’s Irish mob, racking up bodies, controlling the flow of drugs throughout the city, and earning millions of dollars in dirty money along the way… View full Q&A with expert Dick Lehr

  • Fear over turning mobster story into movie

    September 16, 2015

    The Straits Times Dick Lehr, College of Communication How do two respected investigative journalists feel, now that Hollywood has taken their bestselling book about a notorious gangster and turned it into a movie starring Johnny Depp?… Expert quote: “As journalists, we traffick in facts, that’s what we’re preoccupied with. But this is a movie, it’s […]

  • What does Black Mass even mean?

    September 2, 2015

    Boston.com Dick Lehr, College of Communication Black Mass is three weeks from opening in theaters, but have we yet paused to ask ourselves: Why does the big budget Whitey Bulger biopic have that title?… Expert quote: “Like with every book, we were on an e-mail chain throwing [titles] around. Frankly I didn’t get it, but Gerry […]

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