By Matt Murray

June 26, 2018 11:08 a.m. ET

Many legends have passed through The Wall Street Journal during its 129 years, but Joann Lublin, recipient of the 2018 Gerald Loeb Lifetime Achievement Award, is a unique and singular figure in the history of the institution.

The Wall Street Journal


Joann, who recently retired after nearly five decades at the Journal, didn’t earn this recognition through one or two big stories, though she has had plenty of those, or one or two big awards, though she has had many of those, including a Pulitzer.

She earned it because every day she worked at the Journal, she modeled the very best of what journalism is about.

Joann’s byline became a fixture of the Journal as she wrote about many of the biggest stories in recent business history and many of the boldface names and leaders in the global economy.

Her source list is a Who’s Who of prominent figures, many of whom have come to respect her knowledge, professionalism and doggedness even as they often cower at the prospect of her calls. To quote one of the many executives whom she covered: “She was inquisitive, professional and fair. No matter what the subject, I never felt that she was loaded with ‘Gotcha’ questions, and her reporting was complete and unbiased.” As another said: “When you get a message that she calls, it’s time to take a couple aspirin and drink three Coca-Colas before you call her back.”

In the year leading up to her retirement, Joann worked with beat reporters to break the news that insurance giant AIG was replacing its chief executive, revealed that General Electric was flying for years a spare business jet for ex-CEO Jeff Immelt, gave the world its first look at David Rockefeller’s extensive and meticulous set of Rolodex cards, and broke the news that Lloyd Blankfein would be stepping down as chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs.

The first of Joann’s many, many bylines appeared in the Journal during her 1969 internship with the paper. Joann joined the Journal’s San Francisco bureau in 1971 as one of the paper’s first female reporters, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading around 900.

She worked in the Chicago bureau between 1973 and 1979 and then moved to the Washington bureau, where she covered several beats including housing and urban affairs. In 1987, she was promoted to news editor and joined the London office, helping run the Journal’s first women-led bureau. She returned to New York to launch the Journal’s management coverage and its first careers column. She was part of a WSJ team that shared a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for a series of stories on corporate malfeasance.

In recent years, as Management News Editor, Joann helped drive our coverage of corporate governance and management issues, while writing a regular advice column, “Your Executive Career.” In late 2016, she published a book about female executives titled “Earning It: Hard-Won Lessons from Trailblazing Women at the Top of the Business World.”

Inside Nike, a Boys-Club Culture and Flawed HR

Joann continued to break news all the way through her last week at the Journal, including this inside look at Nike.


Joann is what all of us aspire to be—relentless, blunt, persistent, honest, collegial, exhaustive and exhausting—and, of course, a scoop machine. In her more than 3,000 stories, more than 260 of them for the front page, Joann served readers by reporting on many of the biggest stories, people and issues in business of her time. She wrote about Enron, GE and Steve Jobs’s liver transplant. She wrote about the fall of Dennis Kozlowski at Tyco and the rise of women in the workplace.

Her relentless drive continued even through her last week of work at the Journal, when she helped deliver an inside look at a boys-club culture at Nike.

Workplace Advice I Wish I Had Known

Before venturing into retirement, Joann offered tips on navigating workplace issues, including rampant gender bias, gleaned from her career.


For several generations of journalists, she has been a model of how to work ever-harder to drive the news, how to get people to talk when they don’t want to, and how to sniff out big stories.

As one of the first women at the Journal who wasn’t a secretary, she has been a particular role model for women, someone who fought for pay equity and management recognition and who showed everyone that anyone could balance both a family and a demanding career, at a time when many thought women couldn’t, or shouldn’t, try.

Most of all she is someone who every day made clear how important, meaningful, fun and even joyful a life in journalism can be.

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