The Michael Kelly Award

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John Woodrow Cox

Photo by Ryan M. Jones



In an emotionally wrenching series of articles in The Washington Post, John Woodrow Cox gave voice to the experiences of children and teens affected by gun violence. His subjects ranged from a 7-year-old girl in South Carolina who lost one of her best friends in a shooting at her elementary school to six teenage girls from a Las Vegas high school who attended the country music concert where 58 people were felled by a mass murderer. “The Wounds They Carry” was the headline of the Las Vegas story, but it could have run over any of Cox’s pieces. With sensitivity and grace, he opened a window into the psychological damage that gun violence is inflicting on thousands of children and teenagers scarred by school shootings, road rage, gang violence, and domestic disputes.



John Woodrow Cox, 33, joined The Washington Post in 2014 as an enterprise reporter. Previously, Cox worked at the Tampa Bay Times in Florida and the Valley News in New Hampshire. He is the winner of Scripps Howard’s Ernie Pyle Award for Human Interest Storytelling, and his work has also been recognized by Mayborn’s Best American Newspaper Narrative Writing Contest and the Society for Features Journalism, among others. He attended the University of Florida, earning degrees in journalism and business. In 2014, Cox taught a course in narrative writing at the university’s College of Journalism and Communications, and he now serves on its advisory council. Cox lives in Virginia with his wife, Jenn.

Twelve Seconds of Gunfire

Children Under Fire

‘Did Your Father Die?’

The Wounds They Carry

‘I Want It To Stop’

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