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Profile

  • David Cay Johnston
  • Distinguished Visiting Lecturer

  • (585) 230-0558
  • dcjohn01@syr.edu

  • Education
  • Michigan State University
    - 1973-75
  • University of Chicago
    - 1973
  • San Francisco State University
    - 1971-72
  • Cabrillo, De Anza, Foothill and La Cañada Community Colleges
    - 1967-72


David Cay  Johnston

David Cay Johnston teaches Law In Action, a new pre-law course for undergraduates that examines the principle and theory of American law. From 2009 to 2016 he taught the law of the ancient world to third year law students and graduate business students. One course examined property and tax law, the other business regulations.

Johnston received a 2001 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of taxes in The New York Times. He is the author or editor of seven books, four of them New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers.

He is currently the editor-in-chief of DCReport.org, which covers what the president and Congress do, not what they say. In March 2017 he published at DCReport the summary pages of Donald Trump’s 2005 federal income tax return.

His journalism career began in 1968 as a 19-year-old front page staff writer for the San Jose Mercury. Johnston has exposed political spying and brutality by the Los Angeles Police Department, exposed foreign agents, revealed news manipulations that caused a six-station Midwest broadcast chain to be forced out of business, revealed Enron did not pay taxes and that some companies use a Bermuda mail box to escape American taxes. He also solved a 1980 Southern California murder by confronting the killer, winning freedom for an innocent man sentenced to life in prison. His Times reporting shut down so many tax dodges and prompted so many prosecutions that he was called the “de facto chief tax enforcement officer of the United States.”

In 2012-14 Johnston served board president of the 5,700-member Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE). He has lectured on every continent except Antarctica about tax policy, business regulation, ethics and journalism issues.

His next book will propose a 21st Century tax system to replace the existing Internal Revenue Code.