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Edward Sebastian Vulliamy (born 1 August 1954), is a British journalist and writer.

Ed Vulliamy
Ed wearing a blue and white striped shirt, speaking into a microphone
Ed Vulliamy speaking at the 2006 Omarska camp commemoration
Born (1954-08-01) 1 August 1954 (age 65)
OccupationJournalist, correspondent
Known forWar reporting in Bosnia and Iraq


Early life and careerEdit

Vulliamy was born and grew up in Notting Hill, London. His mother is the children's author and illustrator Shirley Hughes,[1] his father was the architect John Sebastian Vulliamy, of the Vulliamy family, and his grandfathers were the Liverpool store owner Thomas Hughes and the author C. E. Vulliamy. He was educated at the independent University College School and at Hertford College, Oxford, where won an Open Scholarship, wrote a thesis on the Northern Ireland "Troubles" and graduated in Politics and Philosophy.

In 1979, he joined Granada Television's flagship documentary programme World in Action, and in 1985 won a Royal Television Society Award for a film about Ireland. In 1986, he joined The Guardian as a reporter, later Rome correspondent covering the Mafia and Southern Europe. From there, he covered the Balkan wars, revealing a gulag of concentration camps. In August 1992 Vulliamy and British journalist, Maggie O'Kane managed to gain access to the notorious Omarska and Trnopolje camps.[2] Their graphic accounts of the conditions of the prisoners were recorded for the documentary Omarska's survivors: Bosnia 1992.[3] Discovery of the camps was credited with contributing to the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal For Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.

Vulliamy was awarded most major prizes in British journalism for his coverage of the war in Bosnia and work on organised crime. As a result of this reporting, Vulliamy became the first journalist since the Nuremberg trials to testify at an international war crimes tribunal, the ICTY.[1] He went on to testify for the prosecution in ten trials at the ICTY, including those of Bosnian Serb leaders Dr. Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic.

In 1994-5, and again from 1997 to 2003, Vulliamy was based in Washington and later New York as US Correspondent for the Guardian's sister paper, The Observer. In America, he covered the Oklahoma bombing of 1995, and in its wake, investigated deep within the far-right militia movement. He covered US politics, society, culture and sports across the union, the transition from the presidency of Bill Clinton to that of George W. Bush. Later, he reported on the lynching of James Byrd in Jasper, Texas, and on its slipstream, penetrated the white supremacist backstory behind the killer's world, in jail and among fringe religious compounds. He was living in New York for, and covered, the 2001 9/11 terrorist attacks and their aftermath, in the city and along the corridors of power.[1] Based in New York, he also reported from Mexico on organised crime, Haiti on the 1994 US intervention and subsequently, organised crime in Jamaica, Cuba on the dissident movement and Nicaragua. Vulliamy had covered the Iraq war of 1991, and then proceeded to report that of 2003, its aftermath and atrocities by both invasion forces and the emergent insurgency.

Among his awards for newspaper reporting are: Granada Television's 'What The Papers SayForeign Correspondent of the Year', 1992; British Press Awards International Reporter of the Year, 1992; Amnesty International Media award 1992; and the James Cameron Award in 1994. He was named International Reporter of the Year in both 1992 and in 1997.

From 2003 onwards, Vulliamy has worked along the US-Mexican border, reporting on organised crime, narco-traffic, cartel wars, security and migration.[1] This work led to his book Amexica: War Along the Borderline, which in 2013 won the coveted Ryszard Kapuscinski Award for Literary Reportage – named in honour of the writer, creator and master of the genre.[4] His book 'The War is Dead, Long Live The War' about the survivors of Bosnia's rape and concentration camps was shortlisted for the same prize in 2015.

Vulliamy badly broke his leg in 2013, and wrote a detailed article from the patient's viewpoint about his prolonged treatment with the Ilizarov apparatus, an external frame that stretches the leg.[5]

As a result of the accident, he left the staff of The Guardian and The Observer newspapers in October 2016, after 31 years, to become a full-time author, journalist and film-researcher - but continues to work as a reporter for The Guardian, The Observer and Guardian Films on narco-traffic, the US-Mexico border and the peace process between the Colombian government and the FARC. In 2018 he published his memoir, When Words Fail: A Life with Music, War and Peace, for Granta. The book explores music and conflict, and features the last interview with B. B. King. Current and forthcoming books and journalism for The Guardian returns to Mexico, narco-traffic and organised crime.


Vulliamy has two daughters.[citation needed]


  • Ed Vulliamy, Seasons in Hell: Understanding Bosnia's War, St Martins Press (New York, 1994). ISBN 978-0-312-11378-0
  • David Leigh and Ed Vulliamy, Sleaze: The Corruption of Parliament, Fourth Estate (Londo, 1997). ISBN 978-1-85702-694-8
  • Ed Vulliamy, Amexica: War Along the Borderline, Bodley Head (London, 2010). ISBN 978-1-84792-128-4; Farrar, Straus and Giroux (New York 2010) ISBN 978-0-374-10441-2
  • Ed Vulliamy, The War is Dead, Long Live the War: Bosnia: the Reckoning, Bodley Head (London, 19 April 2012). ISBN 978-1-84792-194-9
  • Michael Jacobs and Ed Vulliamy, "Everything is Happening: Journey into a Painting". Granta, London, 2014.
  • Ed Vulliamy, When Words Fail: A Life with Music, War and Peace, Granta Books, London, 2018 ISBN 9781783783366


  1. ^ a b c d "Private Passions: Ed Vulliamy". BBC. 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  2. ^ Tanner, Marcus (30 November 2017). "UK's Vulliamy Recalls Encounters with Belligerent Praljak". Balkan Insight. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "About Ed Vulliamy". openDemocracy. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  5. ^ Ed Vulliamy. "How Comrade Ilizarov saved my leg". The Observer. Retrieved 13 December 2015.

External linksEdit