Joe Sexton spent 25 years as a reporter and senior editor at The New York Times, and another eight years as a reporter and senior editor at ProPublica, the non-profit investigative news organization. He was also a founding staff member of the Black weekly newspaper The City Sun in 1984.
He directed or assisted in six projects awarded Pulitzer Prizes, for breaking news, investigative reporting, feature writing, national and explanatory reporting.
Projects he oversaw also won three Emmys. A story he directed, An Unbelievable Story of Rape, won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting and was the inspiration for the award-winning Netflix series, Unbelievable, starring Toni Collette and Kaitlyn Dever.
His work was anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting, Houghton Mifflin, 1992.
In 2021, he was awarded Columbia University’s Meyer Berger Award for distinguished human interest storytelling.
“Snow Fall,” a story written by John Branch and edited by Sexton, won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing and is considered a landmark achievement in digital storytelling.
In 2022, a story for the New Yorker magazine he helped report and edit won a George Polk award and an Overseas Press Club award for international reporting on human rights.
In addition to his book, The Lost Sons of Omaha, releasing May 9, he is at work on a true crime documentary film with HBO.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Sexton is the father of four girls, and is married to Beth Flynn, the deputy director of photography at the New York Times.