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Born in Ohio, Lance Williams graduated from Brown University and the University of California-Berkeley and attended University College, London. He worked as a reporter at the Hayward Daily Review and Oakland Tribune before joining the San Francisco Examiner in 1983.
Williams has covered earthquakes in Mexico City and San Francisco, wildfires in the Sierra Nevada and Oakland
and a presidential campaign. He was written investigative reports on the California cocaine trade, financial improprieties at the University of California and the career of longtime California Assembly Speaker Willie Brown.
In 1986-87 he was a University of Michigan Journalism Fellow. From 1983 to 1998 he was a visiting lecturer at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California-Berkeley.
His work has been honored with the Gerald Loeb Award for business writing, the National Women's Political Caucus' Exceptional Merit award and the California Associated Press News Executive Council's Fairbanks Award for public service journalism.
Three times he was awarded the Center for California Studies' California Journalism Award for reporting on politics and government. In 1999 he was the Society of Professional Journalists' Northern California Journalist of the Year.
He is currently an investigative reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. After fifteen months of covering steroid use in sports, in December 2004 he and fellow investigative reporter Mark Fainaru-Wada co-reported in the Chronicle on the secret grand jury testimony of pro baseball players Jason Giambi and Barry Bonds, making headlines around the world. Williams and Fainaru-Wada won the Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award, the George Polk Award, and the White House Correspondents’ Association’s Edgar A. Poe Award for their reporting.
Williams and Fainaru-Wada co-wrote Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal That Rocked Professional Sports. The book prompted Major League Baseball to begin an investigation into steroid use in its sport.
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