Georgie Anne Geyer
Birthplace: Chicago, Ill.
After graduating from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in 1956, Geyer won a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Vienna. In 1959 she joined the Chicago Daily News as a society reporter, but was eventually reassigned to the news desk. In 1964 she won a grant enabling her to study and report abroad. Geyer went to Peru. She was then sent to cover revolutionaries in the Dominican Republic. In 1974 she left the Daily News and became a syndicated columnist. Geyer, who speaks Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Russian, often reports from the field. In 1973 she was the first Westerner to interview Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Geyer has been jailed in Angola for her articles about that country's civil war, and Guatemala's White Hand death squad once threatened to kill her. Geyer has interviewed Yasser Arafat, Anwar Sadat, King Hussein, Moammar Gadhafi, and the Ayatollah Khomeini. She is the author of a number of books on Latin America, Russia, and the Middle East, including the acclaimed 1993 biography of Fidel Castro, Guerrilla Prince.