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April 28, 2003


Washington Post Editor to Speak on Bioterrorism and "The Killer Strain"

ATLANTA -- Marilyn W. Thompson, the award-winning assistant managing editor for investigations at The Washington Post, will discuss the threat of bioterrorism and sign copies of her new book "The Killer Strain: Anthrax and a Government Exposed," in an appearance at Emory University on May 22.

Her lecture, entitled "Are We Prepared? Lessons from the 2001 Anthrax Attacks," will be held at 7 p.m. in the university's Miller-Ward Alumni House at 815 Houston Mill Road. Parking and admission are free and copies of her book, published earlier this month by HarperCollins, will be available for purchase. The event is being sponsored by the University's Woodruff Health Sciences Center and the Association of Emory Alumni.

"The Killer Strain" is the first in-depth investigation of the still-unsolved anthrax attacks in the fall of 2001 that killed five persons and played havoc with the U.S. Postal Service, Congressional offices, and news media offices in Florida, Washington, and New York.

Best-selling author Richard Preston describes "Killer Strain" as "a taut, balanced, and deeply researched account of the anthrax letter attacks and their aftermath." And former Washington Post Executive Editor Benjamin C. Bradlee calls the book "a dramatic, chilling account of 'when the anthrax hit the fan' by one of the country's best investigative reporters."

Thompson conducted scores of interviews for this book, focusing on three major characters: John W. Ezzell, a microbiologist with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Maryland; Leroy "Rich" Richmond, a Washington, D.C. postal worker who survived an agonizing case of mail-borne inhalational anthrax; and Dr. Jeffrey P. Koplan, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the time of the attacks and currently, vice president for academic health affairs at Emory's Woodruff Health Sciences Center.

Marilyn Thompson has twice directed reporting teams that won Pulitzer Prizes for public service. She has published two previous books, "Feeding the Beast: How Wedtech Became the Most Corrupt Little Company in America" and (as a co-author) "Ol' Strom: An Unauthorized Biography of Strom Thurmond."

A graduate of Clemson University, she lives near Annapolis, Maryland.

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