Charles Lewis has been doing original reporting and research about political power and influence in America since 1977. He and the organization he founded and led for 15 years, the Center for Public Integrity, have produced unprecedented, award-winning reports and books about democracy, corruption, and government accountability in the United States and around the world.
Co-author of five Center books and contributor to a sixth, Lewis is probably best known for The Buying of the President series of investigative books about the U.S. presidential candidates, their political parties and their special interest "career patron" relationships, published in 1996, 2000 and 2004. The most recent book was on the New York Times bestseller (short or extended) list for three months.
For years Lewis has traveled and spoken extensively about his books and other work, directly to public audiences and in hundreds of news media interviews. He has guest lectured at more than two dozen major colleges and universities, including American, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Cambridge (England), Columbia, Delaware, Florida Atlantic, Georgetown, George Washington, Harvard, Ithaca, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, NYU, Northwestern, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Ohio State, Pennsylvania, Penn State, Princeton, USC, Stanford, Trinity College (San Antonio, TX), Tufts, Virginia, US Military Academy (West Point) and Wisconsin.
Koch foundations gave more than $41 million to 89 nonprofits from 2007-2011, part of a wide effort at funding organizations with public policy, education and political interests that align with those of Koch Industries, run by Charles and David Koch. The Investigative Reporting Workshop examined Internal Revenue Service documents for a closer look at Koch giving, which also includes millions to the arts, medicine and colleges across the country, as well as continued support of a "No Climate Tax Pledge."
The Buying of the Congress: How Special Interests Have Stolen Your Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness was denounced as “ridiculous” by then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich when it was published. Prepared by 36 researchers, writers and editors who interviewed more than 1,200 people and combed through hundreds of thousands of federal records, this book “follows the money” and reveals how and why Congress is so unresponsive to the basic concerns of ordinary citizens.
Charles Lewis, a former 60 Minutes producer who founded The Center for Public Integrity, is a MacArthur Fellow and the founding executive editor of the new Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University.
Lewis regularly travels nationally and internationally to talk about investigative reporting and the future of journalism.