Phoebe Wall Howard began her career as a feature writer and moved into politics, crime, and business with a specialty in finding humanity in otherwise dry story topics that people might initially dismiss as uninteresting. She has established a career writing everything from the dark side of the Miss America Pageant and fallout after mass school shootings to executive profiles and investigations that changed public policy and shaped legislation. Her trademark has been the ability to find unique subject angles. Her work as a news reporter regularly inspires letters from readers around the country who say they feel connected and think about how they live differently. The fan mail is frequently thoughtful, often funny, and always interesting. She has worked in print and broadcast – newspaper, magazine, radio, TV, podcasts, and digital news in Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, California, and Michigan. She returned to Detroit to cover the auto industry from a consumer perspective for The Detroit Free Press in 2017. She has won state and national news, public service, and investigative awards. Her personal columns about life and loss have established a loyal following.
Howard spent four years working at Investigative Reporters & Editors before becoming a full-time journalist. At the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock, her work inspired U.S. Supreme Court rulings in a high-profile capital murder case. At the Des Moines Register, her work was cited by the Iowa Supreme Court when it overhauled foster care policy and triggered a state investigation and intervention at a veterans home serving residents spoiled food. At McClatchy Co., her work in Fresno exposed fraud in waste management and government accountability irregularities. A native of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, whose family arrived in Detroit before 1860, Howard earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia