Age, Biography and Wiki

Gary Webb (Gary Stephen Webb) was born on 31 August, 1955 in Corona, California, United States, is an Investigative journalist. Discover Gary Webb's Biography, Age, Height, Physical Stats, Dating/Affairs, Family and career updates. Learn How rich is He in this year and how He spends money? Also learn how He earned most of networth at the age of 49 years old?

Popular As Gary Stephen Webb
Occupation Investigative journalist
Age 49 years old
Zodiac Sign Virgo
Born 31 August 1955
Birthday 31 August
Birthplace Corona, California, United States
Date of death December 10, 2004,
Died Place Carmichael, California, United States
Nationality United States

We recommend you to check the complete list of Famous People born on 31 August. He is a member of famous with the age 49 years old group.

Gary Webb Height, Weight & Measurements

At 49 years old, Gary Webb height not available right now. We will update Gary Webb's Height, weight, Body Measurements, Eye Color, Hair Color, Shoe & Dress size soon as possible.

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Who Is Gary Webb's Wife?

His wife is Sue Webb (m. 1979–2000)

Parents Not Available
Wife Sue Webb (m. 1979–2000)
Sibling Not Available
Children Eric Webb, Christine Webb

Gary Webb Net Worth

His net worth has been growing significantly in 2020-2021. So, how much is Gary Webb worth at the age of 49 years old? Gary Webb’s income source is mostly from being a successful . He is from United States. We have estimated Gary Webb's net worth, money, salary, income, and assets.

Net Worth in 2021 $1 Million - $5 Million
Salary in 2020 Under Review
Net Worth in 2019 Pending
Salary in 2019 Under Review
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Gary Webb Social Network

Wikipedia Gary Webb Wikipedia



Examining the support that Meneses and Blandón gave to the local Contra organization in San Francisco, the report concluded that it was "not sufficient to finance the organization" and did not consist of "millions," contrary to the claims of the "Dark Alliance" series. This support "was not directed by anyone within the Contra movement who had an association with the CIA," and the Committee found "no evidence that the CIA or the Intelligence Community was aware of these individuals’ support." It also found no evidence to support Webb's suggestion that several other drug smugglers mentioned in the series were associated with the CIA, or that anyone associated with the CIA or other intelligence agencies was involved in supplying or selling drugs in Los Angeles.

Jonathan Krim, The Mercury News editor who recruited Webb from The Plain Dealer and who supervised The Mercury News internal review of "Dark Alliance," told AJR editor Paterno that Webb "had all the qualities you'd want in a reporter: curious, dogged, a very high sense of wanting to expose wrongdoing and to hold private and public officials accountable." But as Krim also told Webb's biographer Nick Schou, "The zeal that helped make Gary a relentless reporter was coupled with an inability to question himself, to entertain the notion that he might have erred." Scott Herhold, Webb’s first editor at The Mercury-News, wrote in a 2013 column that "Gary Webb was a journalist of outsized talent. Few reporters I've known could match his nose for an investigative story. When he was engaged, he worked hard. He wrote well. But Webb had one huge blind side: He was fundamentally a man of passion, not of fairness. When facts didn't fit his theory, he tended to shove them to the sidelines."


Not all writers agree that the Inspector-General's report supported the series' claims. Jeff Leen, assistant managing editor at The Washington Post for investigative reporting, wrote in a 2014 opinion page article that "the report found no CIA relationship with the drug ring Webb had written about." Leen, who covered the cocaine trade for the Miami Herald in the 1980s, rejects the claim that "because the report uncovered an agency mind-set of indifference to drug-smuggling allegations", it vindicated Webb's reporting.

Kill the Messenger (2014) is based on Webb's book Dark Alliance and Nick Schou's biography of Webb. Actor Jeremy Renner portrays Webb.


The Los Angeles Times devoted the most space to the story, developing its own three-part series called "The Cocaine Trail." The series ran from October 20–22, 1996, and was researched by a team of 17 reporters. The three articles in the series were written by four reporters: Jesse Katz, Doyle McManus, John Mitchell and Sam Fulwood. The first article, by Katz, developed a different picture of the origins of the crack trade than "Dark Alliance" had described, with more gangs and smugglers participating. The second article, by McManus, was the longest of the series and dealt with the role of the Contras in the drug trade and CIA knowledge of drug activities by the Contras. McManus found Blandón and Meneses' contributions to Contra organizations significantly less than the "millions" claimed in the series, and no evidence that the CIA had tried to protect them. The third article, by Mitchell and Fulwood, covered the effects of crack on African-Americans and how it affected their reaction to some of the rumors that arose after the "Dark Alliance" series.

In 2013, Jesse Katz, a former Los Angeles Times reporter, said of the newspaper's coverage: "As an L.A. Times reporter, we saw this series in the San Jose Mercury News and kind of wonder[ed] how legit it was and kind of put it under a microscope, and we did it in a way that most of us who were involved in it, I think, would look back on that and say it was overkill. We had this huge team of people at the L.A. Times and kind of piled on to one lone muckraker up in Northern California." And "we really didn't do anything to advance his work or illuminate much to the story, and it was a really kind of tawdry exercise. ... And it ruined that reporter's career."


Webb's reporting in "Dark Alliance" remains controversial. Many writers discussing the series point to errors in it. The claim that the drug ring of Meneses-Blandón-Ross sparked the "crack explosion" has been perhaps the most criticized part of the series. Nick Schou, a journalist who wrote a 2006 biography of Webb, has claimed that this was the most important error in the series. Writing on the Los Angeles Times opinion page, Schou said, "Webb asserted, improbably, that the Blandón-Meneses-Ross drug ring opened 'the first pipeline between Colombia's cocaine cartels and the black neighborhoods of Los Angeles,' helping to 'spark a crack explosion in urban America.' The story offered no evidence to support such sweeping conclusions, a fatal error that would ultimately destroy Webb, if not his editors."


Writing after Webb's death in 2005, The Nation magazine's former Washington Editor David Corn said that Webb "was on to something but botched part of how he handled it." According to Corn, Webb "was wrong on some important details, but he was, in a way, closer to the truth than many of his establishment media critics who neglected the story of the real CIA-contra-cocaine connection." Like Schou, Corn cites the inspector general's report, which he says "acknowledged that the CIA had indeed worked with suspected drugrunners while supporting the contras."


Webb resigned from The Mercury News in December 1997. He became an investigator for the California State Legislature, published a book based on the "Dark Alliance" series in 1998, and did freelance investigative reporting. He committed suicide on December 10, 2004.

Webb later moved to the State Assembly's Office of Majority Services. He was laid off in February 2004 when Assembly Member Fabian Núñez was elected Speaker.

In August 2004, Webb joined the Sacramento News & Review, an alternative weekly newspaper, where he continued doing investigative writing. One of his last articles examined America's Army, a video game designed by the U.S. Army.

Webb was found dead in his Carmichael home on December 10, 2004, with two gunshot wounds to the head. His death was ruled a suicide by the Sacramento County coroner's office. After a local paper reported that he had died from multiple gunshots, the coroner's office received so many calls asking about Webb's death that Sacramento County Coroner Robert Lyons issued a statement confirming Webb had died by suicide. When asked by local reporters about the possibility of two gunshots being a suicide, Lyons replied: "It's unusual in a suicide case to have two shots, but it has been done in the past, and it is in fact a distinct possibility." News coverage noted that there were widespread rumors on the Internet at the time that Webb had been killed as retribution for his "Dark Alliance" series, published eight years before. Webb's ex-wife Susan Bell told reporters that she believed Webb had died by suicide. "The way he was acting it would be hard for me to believe it was anything but suicide," she said. According to Bell, Webb had been unhappy for some time over his inability to get a job at another major newspaper. He had sold his house the week before his death because he was unable to afford the mortgage.


After leaving The Mercury News, Webb worked as an investigator for the California State Legislature. His assignments included investigating racial profiling by the California Highway Patrol and charges that the Oracle Corporation had received a no-bid contract award of $95 million in 2001. While working at the legislature, Webb continued to do freelance investigative reporting, sometimes based on his investigative work. For instance, he published an article on racial profiling in traffic stops in Esquire magazine, in April 1999.


The House Intelligence Committee issued its report in February 2000. According to the report, it used Webb’s reporting and writing as "key resources in focusing and refining the investigation." Like the CIA and Justice Department reports, it also found that neither Blandón, Meneses, nor Ross were associated with the CIA.


The Department of Justice Inspector-General's report was released on July 23, 1998. According to the report's "Epilogue," the report was completed in December 1997 but was not released because the DEA was still attempting to use Danilo Blandón in an investigation of international drug dealers and was concerned that the report would affect the viability of the investigation. When Attorney General Janet Reno determined that a delay was no longer necessary, the report was released unchanged.

After his resignation from The Mercury News, Webb expanded the "Dark Alliance" series into a book that responded to the criticism of the series and described his experiences writing the story and dealing with the controversy. It was published in 1998 as Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion. A revised version was published in 1999 that incorporated Webb's response to the CIA and Justice Department reports. The February 2000 report by the House Intelligence Committee in turn considered the book's claims as well as the series' claims. Dark Alliance was a 1998 Pen/Newman's Own First Amendment Award Finalist, 1998 San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, 1999 Bay Area Book Reviewers Award Finalist, and 1999 Firecracker Alternative Booksellers Award Winner in the Politics category.

While finding this part of the series unsupported, Schou said that some of the series' claims on CIA involvement are supported, writing that "The CIA conducted an internal investigation that acknowledged in March 1998 that the agency had covered up Contra drug trafficking for more than a decade." According to Schou, the investigation "confirmed key chunks of Webb's allegations." In a later article in the LA Weekly, Schou wrote that Webb was "vindicated by a 1998 CIA Inspector General report, which revealed that for more than a decade the agency had covered up a business relationship it had with Nicaraguan drug dealers like Blandón."


The Los Angeles Times and other major papers published articles suggesting the "Dark Alliance" claims were overstated. After an internal review, The Mercury News ultimately published a statement in May 1997 acknowledging shortcomings in the series' reporting and editing.

The editors met with Webb several times in February to discuss the results of the paper's internal review and eventually decided to print neither Carey's draft article nor the articles Webb had filed. Webb was allowed to keep working on the story and made one more trip to Nicaragua in March. At the end of March, however, Ceppos told Webb that he was going to present the internal review findings in a column. After discussions with Webb, the column was published on May 11, 1997.

Webb strongly disagreed with Ceppos's column and in interviews, was harshly critical of the paper's handling of the story. Editors at the paper, on the other hand, felt that Webb had failed to tell them about information that contradicted the series' claims and that he "responded to concerns not with reasoned argument, but with accusations of us selling him out." In June 1997, The Mercury News told Webb it was transferring him from the paper's Sacramento bureau and offered him a choice between working at the main offices in San Jose under closer editorial supervision, or spot reporting in Cupertino; both locations were long commutes from his home in Sacramento. Webb eventually chose Cupertino, but was unhappy with the routine stories he was reporting there and the long commute. He resigned from the paper in November 1997.

The CIA Inspector-General's report was issued in two volumes. The first one, "The California Story," was issued in a classified version on December 17, 1997, and in an unclassified version on January 29, 1998. The second volume, "The Contra Story," was issued in a classified version on April 27, 1998, and in an unclassified version on October 8, 1998.

In interviews after leaving The Mercury News, Webb described the 1997 controversy as media manipulation. "The government side of the story is coming through the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post", he stated. "They use the giant corporate press rather than saying anything directly. If you work through friendly reporters on major newspapers, it comes off as The New York Times saying it and not a mouthpiece of the CIA." Webb's longest response to the controversy was in "The Mighty Wurlitzer Plays On," a chapter he contributed to an anthology of press criticism:

Views on Webb's journalism have been polarized. During and immediately after the controversy over "Dark Alliance," Webb's earlier writing was examined closely. A January 1997 article in American Journalism Review noted that a 1994 series Webb wrote had also been the subject of a Mercury News internal review that criticized Webb's reporting. A New York Times profile of Webb in June 1997 noted that two of his series written for the Cleveland Plain Dealer had resulted in lawsuits that the paper had settled.

On the other hand, many of the writers and editors who worked with him have had high praise for him. Walter Bogdanich, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who worked with Webb on The Plain Dealer, told American Journalism Review editor Susan Paterno "He was brilliant; he knew more about public records than anybody I've ever known." Mary Anne Sharkey, Webb's editor at The Plain Dealer, told writer Alicia Shepard in 1997 that Webb was known as 'the carpenter' "because he had everything nailed down. Gary's documentation is awesome and his work ethic is unbelievable." California Representative Maxine Waters, who was Webb's strongest supporter in Congress after the "Dark Alliance" controversy broke, issued a statement after Webb's death calling him "one of the finest investigative journalists that our country has ever seen."


Webb is best known for his "Dark Alliance" series, which appeared in The Mercury News in 1996. The series examined the origins of the crack cocaine trade in Los Angeles and claimed that members of the anti-communist Contra rebels in Nicaragua had played a major role in creating the trade, using cocaine profits to support their struggle. It also suggested that the Contras may have acted with the knowledge and protection of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The series provoked outrage, particularly in the Los Angeles African-American community, and led to four major investigations of its charges.

After the series' publication, the Northern California branch of the national Society of Professional Journalists had voted Webb "Journalist of the Year" for 1996. Despite the controversy that soon overtook the series, and the request of one board member to reconsider, the branch's board went ahead with the award in November.


Webb began researching "Dark Alliance" in July 1995. The series was published in The Mercury News in three parts, from August 18–20, 1996, with one long article and one or two shorter articles appearing each day. It was also posted on The Mercury News website with additional information, including documents cited in the series and audio recordings of people quoted in the articles. The website artwork showed the silhouette of a man smoking a crack pipe superimposed over the CIA seal. This artwork proved controversial, and The Mercury News later changed it.


In 1988, Webb was recruited by the San Jose Mercury News, which was looking for an investigative reporter. He was assigned to its Sacramento bureau, where he was allowed to choose most of his own stories. As part of The Mercury News team that covered the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, Webb and his colleague Pete Carey wrote a story examining the reasons for the collapse of the Cypress Street Viaduct. The Mercury News coverage of the earthquake won its staff the Pulitzer Prize for General News Reporting in 1990.


Webb's continuing reporting also triggered a fourth investigation. The first article in "Dark Alliance" that discussed the failure of law enforcement agencies to prosecute Blandón and Meneses had mentioned several cases. One of these was a 1986 raid on Blandón's drug organization by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, which the article suggested had produced evidence of CIA ties to drug smuggling that was later suppressed. When Webb wrote another story on the raid evidence in early October, it received wide attention in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department began its own investigation into the "Dark Alliance" claims.


In 1983, Webb moved to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where he continued doing investigative work. A 1985 series, "Doctoring the Truth," uncovered problems in the State Medical Board and led to an Ohio House investigation which resulted in major revisions to the state Medical Practice Act. Webb then moved to the paper's statehouse bureau, where he covered statewide issues and won numerous regional journalism awards. In 1984, Webb wrote a story titled “Driving Off With Profits” which claimed that the promoters of a race in Cleveland paid themselves nearly 1 million dollars from funds that should have gone to the city of Cleveland. The article resulted in a lawsuit against Webb's paper which the plaintiffs won. A jury awarded the plaintiffs over 13 million dollars and the case was later settled. In 1986, Webb wrote a article saying that the Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, Frank D. Celebrezze accepted contributions from groups with organized crime connections. Celebrezze eventually sued the Plain Dealer and won an undisclosed out of court settlement.

Snowfall is an American crime drama television series set in Los Angeles in 1983. The series revolves around the first crack epidemic and its impact on the culture of the city. The series follows the stories of several characters whose lives are fated to intersect including CIA operative Teddy McDonald who helps to secure guns for the Contras.


Webb's first major investigative work appeared in 1980, when the Cincinnati Post published "The Coal Connection," a seventeen-part series by Webb and Post reporter Thomas Scheffey. The series, which examined the murder of a coal company president with ties to organized crime, won the national Investigative Reporters and Editors Award for reporting from a small newspaper.


Webb first began writing on the student newspaper at his college in Indianapolis. After transferring to Northern Kentucky, he entered its journalism program and wrote for the school paper, The Northerner. Although he attended Northern Kentucky for four years, he did not finish his degree. Instead, he found work in 1978 as a reporter at the Kentucky Post, a local paper affiliated with the larger Cincinnati Post. In 1979, Webb married Susan Bell; the couple eventually had three children.


Gary Stephen Webb (August 31, 1955 – December 10, 2004) was an American investigative journalist.


California senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein also took note and wrote to CIA director John Deutch and Attorney General Janet Reno, asking for investigations into the articles. Maxine Waters, the Representative for California's 35th district, which includes South-Central Los Angeles, was also outraged by the articles and became one of Webb's strongest supporters. Waters urged the CIA, the Department of Justice, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to investigate.