Alix M. Freedman

Although she had covered food and tobacco for The Wall Street Journal from 1987-91, it was only after Alix M. Freedman left that beat to become special senior writer did her connection with the latter industry really start smoking.

Following up on Philip Morris' $10 billion lawsuit against ABC News - for claiming that cigarettes were spiked with additional nicotine to hook smokers - Ms. Freedman led coverage that culminated in 1995 with a blockbuster story that documented how tobacco companies didn't spike their products with nicotine, but they did introduce ammonia-based chemicals to make nicotine more potent and addictive.

Ms. Freedman held on to the tale as the industry's secrets unraveled, from lawsuits to perjury before Congress to the Jeffrey Wigand/"60 Minutes" mess, all adding up to her 1996 Pulitzer Prize.

But Ms. Freedman's investigative business reporting is more diversified. Her 1993 Loeb Award honored her Page One story of how one Southern California family dominated the market for cheap handguns used by criminals.

She tracked the events that caused the Cincinnati Enquirer to can a reporter and pay millions to Chiquita.

Her 1998 report on how two American researchers arranged for the chemical sterilization of 100,000 women in developing nations garnered a range of awards, including a Pulitzer nomination.

The Journal named Ms. Freedman investigative projects editor in September 1999.

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