Kim Christensen obituary

Pulitzer-winning journalist Kim Christensen remembered

Longtime Southern California journalist Kim Christensen passed away on Monday, April 15, at the age of 71 after battling cancer. Christensen’s career spanned decades, during which he made significant contributions to investigative journalism. Born into a family with a strong journalistic background, his interest in news was evident from an early age.

Early career

Christensen began his career at The Orange County Register in 1986, where he specialized in in-depth reporting on government malfeasance and systemic failures. Notable among his early work was coverage of the 1986 Cerritos air disaster, shedding light on factors contributing to the tragic event.

His investigative prowess came to the forefront in 1995 when he was part of a team that exposed fertility fraud at UC Irvine’s Center for Reproductive Health, leading to significant legal and regulatory changes. This work earned him a Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for investigative reporting.

Later, at the Oregonian, Christensen played a key role in uncovering illegal detainment practices by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, which was recognized with the Pulitzer Prize for public service in 2001.

Los Angeles Times

Returning to Southern California and joining the Los Angeles Times in 2005, Christensen continued his impactful reporting, covering a range of issues from hospice abuses to environmental hazards. However, his investigation into the Boy Scouts of America’s concealment of sexual abuse emerged as a defining moment in his career.

Christensen’s dedication to journalism was evident even in his final days, as he worked diligently on completing his book about the Boy Scouts scandal despite battling late-stage cancer. His manuscript, titled “On My Honor: The Secret History of the Boy Scouts of America,” is set to be published posthumously.

Kim Christensen is survived by his wife, Chris Christensen, their children Gayle Keith Rea and Michael Davis, two grandchildren, and two great-grandsons. His impact on investigative journalism and commitment to justice will be remembered by colleagues, friends, and readers alike.