M.L. Elrick is a Pulitzer Prize and Emmy Award winning investigative reporter (and former Detroit Tigers beer man) who loves a good story.
His first bona fide newspaper investigation involved dorm security at Michigan State University. It ran in The State News. Later, he founded the university Reporter-Intelligencer, a tabloid that held officials accountable and challenged the local status quo.
After working as a clerk and an intern at the Detroit Free Press, Elrick traveled throughout Europe, filing stories from the road before settling down to help manage a youth hostel in Killarney, Ireland.
Next came stops at the Concord Monitor, where Elrick worked as a political reporter and columnist, and the Daily Southtown, where he wrote front page stories about the capers and characters he found on Chicago's South Side.
He returned to Detroit in 1999 as the obituary writer at the Detroit Free Press. While working in the newspaper's Macomb bureau, he became the world's foremost expert on the early life of Eminem. Elrick moved to Detroit's city hall and, in 2001, covered state Rep. Kwame Kilpatrick's successful mayoral campaign. Over the next decade, Elrick went from being one of Kilpatrick's favorite reporters to one of his least favorite.
Elrick and his Free Press colleague Jim Schaefer conducted dozens of ground-breaking investigations into Kilpatrick and his inner circle, culminating with their Jan. 24, 2008 revelation that Kilpatrick lied under oath during a police whistleblower lawsuit. Schaefer and Elrick's work led to criminal charges against Kilpatrick and, ultimately, the end of the mayor's political career.
In addition to working as a vendor during the Tigers' final season at Tiger Stadium and their first seasons at Comerica Park, Elrick has taught journalism at Wayne State University, Michigan State University and the University of Michigan Dearborn.
In 2009, Elrick and Schaefer wrote "The Kwame Sutra: Musings on Lust, Life and Leadership from Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick" (available at www.kwamesutra.com, a portion of proceeds benefit charities throughout Michigan). Elrick's profile of Eminem was selected as the first chapter in "White Noise," an anthology of Eminem stories.
Elrick is host of The Soul of Detroit podcast a frequent guest on local radio shows and podcasts including Drew & Mike.
In addition to the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting he shared with Schaefer, Elrick has won numerous state and national journalism awards, including:
Worth Bingham Prize for Distinguished Investigative Reporting, Harvard University, 2009
National Headliner Public Service Award, 2009
National Headliner Grand Award, 2009
Society of Professional Journalists' First Amendment Award, 2009
Investigative Reporters and Editors Medal, 2009
Associated Press Managing Editors Public Service Award, 2008
Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award, 2008
George S. Polk Award for Local Reporting, 2008
Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting, 2005
He won two Emmy awards in 2006 while working at WDIV and was named Journalist of the Year by the Detroit Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2008 and Journalist of the Year by Wayne State University in 2006 and 2008.
Elrick also has written for The New York Times, Newsday, Salon, RollingStone.com, The National Law Journal, Chicago magazine, HOUR Detroit magazine, The Hockey News and USA Hockey.
He lives in Detroit.
Follow Elrick on Twitter (elrick) and connect with him on Facebook (M.L. Elrick), where you can check out his weekly Gallerie de Detroit, which features images from Detroit and commentary on life in the city, and his irregular feature the Straight Talk Journal, an irreverent guide to better living.
Throughout Kilpatrick's federal trial, Elrick wrote "Today's Takeaway", a daily recap of the day's events that also included analysis and a look at the case.