Nancy Cleeland

Nancy Cleeland (’77) was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.


A reporter with the Los Angeles Times since 1998, Nancy Cleeland was the lead writer on a team that examined Wal-Mart and its impact on labor, the marketplace and the global economy (“The Wal-Mart Effect”). This in-depth three-part series was a “powerful look at a powerful company” and won wide acclamation, including the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting and the George Polk Award for Economics Reporting, both in 2004.

Known in recent years for her superb coverage of labor issues and the working class, Nancy joined the Times as a metro reporter for the Orange County edition specializing in Latino affairs. Prior to that her career had taken her to South America, Central America and Vietnam, both as a freelancer and on assignment for the San Diego Union-Tribune. From 1989-92 she was the Mexico City correspondent for Copley News Service and the national correspondent for four years. Nancy broke into the business as reporter for the Associated Press in Tucson following graduation from the UA and worked for the Blade-Tribune in Oceanside (Calif.) before starting at the Union-Tribune as an outdoor writer.

In addition to the Pulitzer and Polk awards earned from the Wal-Mart series (which also was widely honored by other entities), Nancy’s professional recognition includes top writing awards from the Asian American Journalists Association and from the Association of Hispanic Journalists. While at the Wildcat in the heydays of the 1970s, Nancy was part of a talented news staff that included then city editor Rob Wilson and Ernest Sotomayor, who are also new members of the Wildcat Hall of Fame from the class of 1977.

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