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Dean Calbreath

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Dean Calbreath
BornDean Owen Calbreath
(1955-07-02) July 2, 1955 (age 68)
🏳️ NationalityAmerican
🏫 EducationPiedmont High School, Laney College
💼 Occupation
Journalist, Author
Known forMember of Pulitzer-winning team, 2006
🥚 TwitterTwitter=
label65 = 👍 Facebook

Dean Calbreath (born July 2, 1955) is an American journalist and author known for his work on the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation that led to the bribery conviction of Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a Republican from San Diego County, California.[1][2][3][4][5]


Calbreath graduated from Piedmont High School in Piedmont, California, in 1972[6] and Laney College in Oakland, California in 1984.[7][8]


Calbreath started his career in journalism as a nonstudent staffer for student publications at the University of California, Berkeley.[9][10][11][12]

In 1993, he moved to Prague, where he became the business editor of The Prague Post.[13][14] He was a correspondent for the European edition of The Wall Street Journal.[15] In 1997, he was hired as a business reporter by The San Diego Union-Tribune in the US.[3][4][5]

Calbreath worked for the San Diego Daily Transcript until 2016.[16]

Cunningham Story[edit]

In 2005, one of Calbreath's colleagues, Marcus Stern, working in Washington, D.C., uncovered evidence that San Diego County Congressman Randy Cunningham had received a $2.4 million bribe in return for his assistance in helping military contractors gain work from the Pentagon.

Because Stern and another colleague on the investigation – Jerry Kammer – were based in Washington, they needed an associate in San Diego to investigate ADCS, Inc., one of the military contractors involved in the scheme. Calbreath investigated ADCS and the ties between its founder, Brent Wilkes, and his close friend Kyle Foggo, who at the time was the third-highest official in the Central Intelligence Agency.[17]

Later, Foggo lost his job with the agency and pleaded guilty to helping steer a CIA contract to Wilkes.[18] Rep. Cunningham and defense contractor Mitchell Wade[19] pleaded guilty to corruption, and Brent Wilkes was convicted. All four were sentenced to jail. [20][21]

Stern, Kammer, and Calbreath were part of the Union-Tribune and Copley News Service team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2006.[4][5] The same year, they also won the Polk Award[22] for national reporting.[23]


With Marcus Stern, Jerry Kammer, and their editor, George Condon Jr., Calbreath co-authored the book The Wrong Stuff: The Extraordinary Saga of Randy "Duke" Cunningham, the Most Corrupt Congressman Ever Caught (Public Affairs, 2007).[2][8][24][25] He wrote "The Sergeant: The Incredible Life of Nicholas Said: Son of an African General, Slave of the Ottomans, Free Man Under the Tsars, Hero of the Union Army," a biography of Nicholas Said, released in February 2023.[26][27]

Pulitzer Prize[edit]

Calbreath, along with Marcus Stern and Jerry Kammer, formed the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for their reporting,[4][5] which led to Cunningham's confession and resignation.[1][10][13] The three also shared the George Polk Award for their work on Cunningham's story.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Johnson, Ted (2007-10-17). "Quid Pro Quo". Variety. Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Capitol Offense: Randy 'Duke' Cunningham". Washington Post. 2021-12-24. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rozen, Laura. "Former CIA Director Porter Goss's Dusty Foggo Problem". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Reporter: "As Many as a Half a Dozen" Members of Congress May Be Involved In Prostitution Scandal..." HuffPost UK. 2008-03-28. Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "'Scarborough Country' for April 27". NBC News. 2006-04-28. Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  6. "Yearbooks".
  7. Calbreath, Dean. "Dean Calbreath". Dean Calbreath. Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Peralta Community College District" (PDF).
  9. Stone, Ken (2023-02-01). "San Diego Pulitzer Winner Lifts 'The Sergeant'; Is 20-Year Book Project Next 'Hamilton'?". Times of San Diego. Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Kovering the Klan - ProQuest". Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  11. "Structural Shifts in the Chinese Software Industry" (PDF).
  12. "Inverting Choice of Law in the Wired Universe: Thermodynamics, Mass, and Energy".
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Go east, young journalist - ProQuest". Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  14. "Iraq's Unready Security Forces: An Interim Assessment" (PDF).
  15. Journal, Dean CalbreathStaff Reporter of The Wall Street (1996-06-07). "EUROPE IN TRANSITION Privatization Could Slow Under New Czech Regime". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  16. "New book tells life story of Black Civil War hero in 'The Sergeant'". KPBS Public Media. 2023-02-07. Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  17. Stern, Marcus (2009-02-27). "Disgraced Senior CIA Official Heads to Prison Still Claiming He's a Patriot". ProPublica. Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  18. "Ex-CIA Man Pleads Guilty to Fraud Scheme". ABC News. Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  19. "Defense Contractor Mitchell Wade Pleads Guilty to Bribing Former Congressman "Duke" Cunnin". Department of Defense Office of Inspector General. Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  20. Simmons, Melody (2007-06-06). "Review: Cunningham revealed corruption's cost". POLITICO. Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  21. Stone, Ken (2021-01-21). "'Duke' Cunningham Pardon Indicted by Reporters Who Helped Send Him to Jail". Times of San Diego. Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  22. "Past Winners | Long Island University". Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  23. Stone, Ken (2018-10-06). "Don Bauder Retires at 82, San Diego Loses Beating Heart of Business Reporting". Times of San Diego. Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  24. "Column: Corruption and lava lamps: The saga of Randy 'Duke' Cunningham". San Diego Union-Tribune. 2021-01-22. Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  25. Stich, Rodney (2008-09-05). Congress and Other Cesspools. Silverpeak Enterprises. ISBN 978-0-932438-51-5. Search this book on
  26. Nicholas Said: The Extraordinary Life of a Traveller, Soldier and Translator | Dan Snow's History Hit, 2023-02-14, retrieved 2023-12-29
  27. "Former U-T reporter pens bio about the incredible life of Black Civil War veteran in new book, 'The Sergeant'". San Diego Union-Tribune. 2023-02-12. Retrieved 2023-12-29.

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