By Aram Arkun
TEANECK, N.J. — Last week, information about three speakers, Peter Sourian, Florence Avakian and Nerses Babayan, each of whom will speak of an intellectual from the New York area supportive of the Armenian Mirror-Spectator in the past, respectively, Jack Antreassian, Dr. Movses Housepian and Armine Dikijian, was given. This week’s article on the June 4 New Jersey Mirror-Spectator banquet focuses on the keynote speaker, Stephen Kurkjian, and provides additional information on the musicians performing as part of the program.
Kurkjian is one of the most prominent journalists the Armenian-American community has produced. As an investigative reporter and editor for the Boston Globe for more than 39 years, he has won three Pulitzer Prizes as well as more than 25 regional and national awards. Exposure to government corruption while growing up in the Boston area motivated him to uncover any number of scandals, including abuse by Catholic clergy in the Boston Archdiocese, problems with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and misdeeds in the city of Somerville near Boston. Kurkjian was one of the founders of the Globe’s Spotlight Team, and served from 1979 to 1986 as its chief. The team today continues to work in his tradition of investigative reporting.
Kurkjian went on to become the head of the Globe’s 10-man Washington bureau from 1986 to 1991. He reported on the White House, the Justice Department, the Iran-Contra affair and the Gulf War. He then returned to Boston to continue covering local news.
Kurkjian, a graduate of Boston Latin School, Boston University and Suffolk University Law School, took a buyout from the Globe in 2007. Afterwards, he began writing for the Dorchester Reporter, taught a course at Suffolk University and began work on several new local investigative projects. He is also writing a book about the 1990 art heist at the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, which to this day remains the largest art theft in the world. It is an unsolved puzzle, with all 13 works of art, pieces by major artists like Rembrandt, Degas and Manet, still missing.