Eugene L. Meyer was born and raised in the New York City suburbs, in a house of 25,000 used books, graduated from Columbia College as an American history major, has worked for three newspapers, including the Washington Post, as a reporter and editor, and authored two books. His work ranges from the investigative to the whimsical, from hard news to features. He has spoken extensively in public forums about his work and journalism.
Much of his writing is closely tied to his love of history He also seeks to provide readers with a sense of place about where they live, work or travel. Gene writes about back roads and forgotten places, but he also finds satisfaction in writing about dynamic change in cities and suburbs. His freelance writing – since he left the Washington Post in 2004 – has flowed naturally from these interests.
Since leaving the newspaper, Meyer has been a fulltime freelancer, garnering a dozen awards for his work. He writes for The New York Times and several other publications, including Bethesda Magazine, where he is a contributing editor. Meyer has been the editor of the quarterly B’nai B’rith Magazine since December 2009. He has written about the rise of citizen journalism and about media codes of ethics for the Center for International Media Assistance, a Washington, D.C. think tank, and about the “gig” economy for CQ Researcher.
His first book, published in 1986 by the Johns Hopkins University Press, was Maryland Lost and Found: People and Places from Chesapeake to Appalachia. “What wonderful voices!” wrote acclaimed novelist Anne Tyler in Washington Post Book World. A revised, expanded paperback edition, Maryland Lost and Found…Again, was published in 2000 by Woodholme House, and again, in 2003, by Tidewater Publishers. Chesapeake Country, Meyer’s second book, was published in 1990 by Abbeville Press and sold more than 32,000 copies in five printings. In March 2015, Abbeville published Chesapeake Country – Second Edition, with a new introduction, “Chesapeake Country Revisited,” focusing on the impact of climate change.
In his fulltime freelance career, Meyer has won wide recognition for his work. These include, for articles published in 2015, awards from the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Association of Real Estate Editors; in 2013 from the Society of American Travel Writers; in 2010 from the International Regional Magazine Association (IRMA); and in 2009 from the National Association of Real Estate Editors and Society of Professional Journalists, DC Chapter. Meyer received a Rockower Award for investigative journalism in 2008 for a co-authored series on Jewish clergy sexual abuse. His “Hidden Maryland” column in Maryland Life magazine won the Gold Award for best column from the International Regional Magazine Association (IRMA) in 2007. Washington Independent Writers awarded its top prize for reported non-fiction in 2006.
Gene’s newspaper work was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and has been cited by the American Bar Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, and the National Association of Home Builders. Gene received top Front Page awards from the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, for commentary in 1996 and local news reporting for 1995 and 1999. He received several citations from the Society of Professional Journalists and from IRMA for articles appearing in Chesapeake Bay Magazine. The Prince George’s County, Md. Historical Society bestowed its St. George’s Day Award in 1999. Gene was the James Thurber Journalist-in-Residence at Ohio State University in 1990-1991