West Seattle High School
Class of 1965
Elizabeth Becker – Class of 1965 Wartime Reporter / Author / Journalist
Elizabeth Becker followed her graduation from West Seattle High School in 1965 by earning undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Washington, specializing in Southeast Asian Studies. In 1973, she traveled to Southeast Asia to start her career as a freelance reporter covering the war. To fairly be described as a pioneer, one needs to be among the first at something. Elizabeth Becker really is a pioneer among women war correspondents, being among the very first to cover the war in Southeast Asia, and at a time when there was very substantial resistance to women engaging in that role. Elizabeth Becker is a nationally renowned author and journalist who began her career as a pioneering woman correspondent during the Vietnam War. She and a dozen other women permanently ended the ban that had prevented women from covering battles. She went to be among the first reporters to warn the world about the Khmer Rouge genocide and to interview major Khmer Rouge leaders, including Poi Pot himself. Her investigation of that genocide “When The War Was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge” the classic history.
See more in the 2019 edition of the Chinook.