Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist and Author
Amanda Bennett is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, editor, and author of several books including The Cost of Hope: The Story of a Marriage, a Family and a Quest for Life (Random House), her memoir of the battle she and Foley, her late husband, fought against his kidney cancer. The book chronicles the extraordinary measures Bennett and Foley took to preserve not only his life but also the life of their family. After his death, Bennett used her skills as a veteran investigative reporter to determine the cost of their mission of hope. Her discoveries about how people face death and illness and the vital issues about the intricacies of America’s healthcare system have made her a sought after keynote speaker on the lecture circuit about healthcare, end-of-life issues, cancer survivorship, and finding hope in the face of adversity. She has given talks across the country at places such as TedMed, Johns Hopkins (grand rounds), the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, the Philadelphia and Boston Women’s Conferences, as well as at literary festivals about memoir writing.
Bennett is also a sought-after speaker on women’s leadership, especially since her views on the state of women in the workplace today were published in a Washington Post opinion piece that went viral. Her talk, “Falling off the Glass Cliff: When Leaning in Isn’t Enough,” explores the resentment and entitlement women feel today in the workplace: “Women now feel not only resentful but also, finally, entitled: Entitled to lead. Entitled to be paid equally. Entitled to be flawed. Entitled to be fired, yes, but also entitled to point out the fact that to us seems so obvious: Men with even more spectacular and difficult flaws than ours get not only longer tenures but also much softer and more dignified landings.”
Bennett served as co-chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board in 2010. Bennett shared the Prize for national reporting with her Journal colleagues, and in 2001 led a team from The Oregonian to a Pulitzer for public service. She is on the board of the Loeb Awards and of the Fund for Investigative Journalism. Projects by the Bloomberg Projects and Investigations team won numerous awards, including Loeb, Polk, Barlett & Steele, Headliners, Society of American Business Editors and Writers and Overseas Press Club Awards.
Through 2013, Bennett was executive editor, Bloomberg News, where she created and ran a global team of investigative reporters and editors. She was also a founder of Bloomberg News’ Women’s project. She was editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer from June 2003, to November 2006, and prior to that was editor of the Herald-Leader in Lexington, Kentucky. She also served for three years as managing editor/projects for The Oregonian in Portland. Bennett served as a Wall Street Journal reporter for more than 20 years. A graduate of Harvard College, she held numerous posts at the Journal, including auto industry reporter in Detroit in the late 70s and early 80s, Pentagon and State Department reporter, Beijing correspondent, management editor/reporter, national economics correspondent and, finally, chief of the Atlanta bureau until 1998, when she moved to The Oregonian.
In addition to The Cost of Hope, Bennett is the author of five other books including In Memoriam (1998), co-authored with Terence B. Foley; The Man Who Stayed Behind, co-authored with Sidney Rittenberg (1993), Death of the Organization Man (1991), and The Quiet Room, co-authored with Lori Schiller.
Amanda Bennett is a member of The Pennsylvania Women’s Forum. She is on the board of the American Society of News Editors, and is on the board of advisers of the Temple University Press; and on the board of directors of Axis Philly, a nonprofit local news site; and of the Rosenbach Museum, a Philadelphia museum of rare books.
Praise for Amanda Bennett and The Cost of Hope
“We were MORE than happy with Amanda’s presentations. Some key decision makers in our future plans were greatly influenced by her talk. I am so glad for the Cost of Hope. It will be mentioned in many discussions in the years to come.”
—Bernice O’Roark, Chair-Hospice and Palliative Care Committee,
Cookeville Regional Medical Center
“Equal parts marriage confessional and skilled investigative report. It’s the story of the sometimes amusing, sometimes baffling relationship and hectic but rewarding life she shared with [husband Terence] Foley for over two decades. It’s also the fascinating account of an illness – its origins, composition and progression – and of the cost (mental, physical and financial) of trying to treat it via the complicated, frustrating, outrageously expensive American healthcare system…[Bennett] vividly presents the startling price and the occasional payoffs of hope.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Must reading…[Bennett] carries off a high-wire act worthy of a novel, as she weaves together a hilarious retelling of the couple’s courtship [and] their cross-country lives together in the U.S. [with] a heart-tugging tale of their nine-year battle with Terence’s cancer. Along the way, Amanda dishes one of the most illuminating and digestible accounts I’ve read of why the U.S. health care system is an unfathomable mess. The book is an impressive feat and a darn good read, reflecting skills Amanda acquired during decades of reporting and editing, as well as her biting wit, knack for just the right anecdote, and perfect ear for the incisive quote.”
—Michael Waldholz, Forbes
“[The Cost of Hope] illuminates the conundrum Americans face over the high cost of care – the fact that we will do almost anything to keep our loved ones alive because we can’t bear to let them go.”
—Wall Street Journal
“[A] memoir squarely in the midst of our debate about the American health-care system and how broken it actually is…The Cost of Hope might be expected to come in under some vague heading like ‘Good and Good for You,’ but Bennett moves her book far beyond all that because she’s such a terrific writer…[The Cost of Hope] is a wonderful story about an engaging, even heroic, American family.”
—Carolyn See, Washington Post
“Poignant…Part love story, part expose of the absurdities of the American healthcare system, Bennett will open your eyes while filling them with tears.”
“Moving and intelligent…Like Joan Didion in The Year of Magical Thinking, Joyce Carol Oates in A Widow’s Tale, and Kay Redfield Jamison in Nothing Was the Same, Bennett finds, in her grief over her husband’s death, an opportunity to explore their fascinating and complex life together…. Foley is a larger-than-life character, and Bennett paints him vividly and affectionately. It doesn’t take long for the reader to fall in love with this guy and also with his wife, the warm and honest narrator of their story….A deeply felt memoir [to] savor.”
“Important, relevant, and riveting…The implicit message [of The Cost of Hope]…is that if this brilliant woman…can’t figure out the health care system and its many dips and traps, then no one can.”
“Bennett is a skillful writer…[and her] candor is winning….[A] loving picture of a very human response to illness.”
“A love story about two ridiculously mismatched people; a portrait of a maddening, brilliant man; and an examination of our nearly unfathomable health care system…written with such honesty that when you open the book you feel like you’re stepping right into their life.”