His two Pulitzer Prizes for International Reporting, awarded in 2004 and 2010, were justly deserved.
A series of firsts
Anthony set a blistering pace in the competitive world of journalism. Even while he was busy racing between Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya to report on the startling developments of the Arab Spring, he still found time to scoop us all in his coverage of Syria. In May 2011, Anthony scored a fascinating and frank interview with Rami Makhlouf, Syria’s über-oligarch and cousin and confidante of President Bashar al-Assad.
Mr. Makhlouf’s boast that the regime would fight to the end in a struggle that could turn into a sectarian war and destabilize the Middle East revealed the arrogance of power and also left embarrassed Syrian officials scrambling to downplay the impact of his words. Anthony had won an unprecedented invite from Makhlouf to Syria in response to his profile of the influential regime insider published in The New York Times days earlier.
Not content to land the first interview with Makhlouf in the Western media, Anthony returned to Syria days later, this time without an invite. He became the first foreign reporter to clandestinely slip into Syria, boldly riding a motorcycle across a remote stretch of Syria’s border with Lebanon to reach Homs, Syria’s third-largest city, which was just then beginning to bear the brunt of the regime’s crackdown.