David Willman has been a reporter assigned to the investigative team for the Washington, DC Bureau of the Los Angeles Times since 1995. From 1992 to 1994 Willman was on the Metro projects team; in 1992 he was a financial writer, and he was a reporter for the Orange County edition of the Los Angeles Times from 1990 to 1992.
Before his work with the Los Angeles Times, Willman was a reporter for the Washington bureau of the San Jose Mercury News from 1986 to 1990, a reporter for their Sacramento bureau from 1984 to 1986 and a Metro staff reporter from 1983 to 1984. Willman was also employed as a reporter at the Pasadena (CA) Star-News from 1978 to 1983.
Willman received his B.A. in Journalism from California's San Jose University in 1978.
Willman has also received numerous awards, including the following:
- Worth Bingham Prize, for unveiling payments from drug companies to top officials at the National Institutes of Health and the secrecy surrounding other such arrangements, 2004.
- Pulitzer Prize, for investigation into the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of seven drugs suspected of causing more than 1,000 deaths, 2001.
- National Press Club Consumer Journalism Award, for coverage of the FDA, 1999.
- Investigative Reporters and Editors medal, for articles about the drug Rezulin, 1999; for articles with colleagues illuminating financing of the presidential campaign, 1997.
- George Polk Award, for articles with colleagues about financing of the presidential campaign, 1997.
- American Assn. Of Engineering Societies, Engineering Foundation Award for “Defective Welds: Structures at Risk,” 1997.
- Pulitzer Prize, for local reporting of spot news (team coverage), presented to staff of the Los Angeles Times for coverage of the Northridge earthquake, 1995.
- Associated Press News Executive Council, second place in public service for “Safety and Budget Woes Plague L.A.’s Subways,’’ 1994.
- Greater Los Angeles Press Club, best coverage of a continuing story, for articles disclosing structural defects in Metro Rail subway tunnels, 1993.
- Orange County Press Club “Watchdog” Award, for examination of local parkland shortage and, separately, dangers of certain development bonds, 1992 and 1993.
- Associated Press National Investigative Reporting in Sports, runner-up, for exposing conflict of interest in state government’s regulation of horse racing, 1983.