Women We Love 2022: Linda Villarosa

Linda Villarosa

by Nic Villarosa

Award-winning journalist and author Linda Villarosa experienced a major setback early in her career. “One of my bosses at the first magazine I worked at out of college told others on staff that I was an affirmative action hire, had no writing talent, and [that they were] not to encourage me,” Villarosa tells GO. “I now get satisfaction when I have a New York Times Magazine story and think of it landing on her doorstep with my name on the cover.” A former executive editor for Essence, Villarosa’s pieces for The New York Times Magazine cover race, inequality and public health. Her 2017 cover story, “America’s Hidden HIV Epidemic,” was given an Excellence in Journalism Award from NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, who inducted Villarosa into their Hall of Fame in 2020. In 2018, Villarosa’s cover story on Black infant and maternal mortality was a finalist for the National Magazine Award, and her 2019 essay on physiological myths based on race was part of The New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project. Since then Villarosa has covered race and health disparities in New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Chicago, taught journalism at CUNY and The City College of New York, and penned a book: Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation, which will be released by Doubleday this month. How does she unwind? “My father taught me how to fish when I was a little girl, and I am really into it,” Villarosa says. “I once caught a 175-pound marlin and 42-inch striped bass.” –LE

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