Dirk Johnson

imageJournalist, Author

Class of 1976

Dirk Johnson graduated from Sycamore High School in 1976 and went on to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Throughout his career, Dirk was a bureau chief for The New York Times and Newsweek magazine. He is the author of four books: Biting the Dust; Meth; Through the Fires;and Working-Class to College. Dirk has also written speeches for leaders of some of the nation’s top companies and universities. He continues to contribute to The New York Times.

Dirk has been named the Top Journalist by the Chicago Newspaper Guild. He is a five-time winner of The New York Times Publisher’s Award. He has appeared as a guest on many television and radio shows, including Today, CNN with Wolf Blitzer, Fox & Friends and NPR. Dirk has covered many of the major national news events of the past two decades, including the shootings at Columbine High School, the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, and various national political races.

But Sycamore is still in Dirk’s blood. He’s traveled the world on various assignments throughout the years, yet he still lives in Sycamore on historic Somonauk Street! Dirk raised his four children – Amanda, Harlan, Nora and Henry Johnson, all of whom also graduated from SHS – right here in Sycamore.

Dirk continues to contribute to the Sycamore community. He’s coached youth basketball teams and served on the education commission at St. Mary’s School in Sycamore. He also served on the Board of the Sycamore Library and CASA of DeKalb County.

Dirk has contributed his time to speaking at Sycamore High School and at the Sycamore Midwest Museum of Natural History … just two of the many community organizations he’s been involved with. He’s a natural when talking with our Sycamore High School students about their career choices and about what their lives hold ahead of them.

Dirk Johnson is a prime example of what the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame is all about. He is a role model to our students and lets them know that they can also accomplish amazing things even though they are “just from Sycamore” and you don’t necessarily have to leave Sycamore to do amazing things!

The Sycamore High School Alumni Committee and the entire Sycamore community congratulates Dirk Johnson for his induction into the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame!!

Mr. Dirk Johnson – 2016 Inductee SHS Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame