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About Joseph Rago


Joseph Rago was a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal who passed away in 2017 at the age of 34. Rago graduated from Dartmouth College in 2005 and joined The Wall Street Journal, beginning as an intern and rising through the ranks until he was a member of the editorial board. He quickly made a name for himself with in-depth interviews eliciting fresh insights from figures such as Tom Wolfe and William F. Buckley Jr. He began writing editorials in 2007 and in 2011 was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for “his well-crafted, against-the-grain editorials challenging the health care reform advocated by President Obama.”

“Joe was a treasured colleague who contributed enormously to The Wall Street Journal and set the highest standard of excellence and integrity,” said Paul Gigot, editorial page editor and vice president of the Journal. Colleagues and friends remember Joe not only for his journalism, but also for his intellectual curiosity and great capacity for friendship.

We are pleased to honor the life of our son Joe, who lived his life with integrity, humility, wisdom and dedication to excellence. It is our hope that this fund will provide others with the opportunity to achieve the ideals that he so highly valued.” – Paul and Nancy Rago

The Joseph Rago Memorial Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism was established at The Fund for American Studies in partnership with Joe’s parents and The Wall Street Journal to help aspiring journalists achieve the level of excellence set by Joe. To learn more about Joe’s life and legacy, you can watch a video of the 2018 awards dinner on our website or read “No Ordinary Joe,” a feature in the February 2018 Dartmouth Alumni Magazine.


Please read excerpts from Joe’s 12-year Journal career on The Wall Street Journal’s memorial page and find tributes and highlights from his own writing in The Dartmouth Review’s Festschrift.

TFAS President Roger wrote about Joe’s impact on the five-year anniversary of his passing for National Review. You can find the original article here.