Tom Ferrick, Jr. (1949) is an editor, reporter and columnist long active in print and web journalism in Philadelphia. Until 2013, Ferrick served as senior editor of Metropolis, a local news and information site based in Philadelphia that he founded in 2009. Prior to that, Ferrick worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Philadelphia Inquirer. He had been a columnist at the Inquirer since 1998 but left the newspaper in 2008. The Philadelphia native has spent nearly 40 years as a journalist, focusing mostly on government
Tom Ferrick is married to Sharon Sexton. He and Sexton have two children. Born in South Philadelphia, Ferrick attended Temple University in the late 1960s, but never graduated, having spent too much time at the school newspaper, The Temple News, he has claimed.
Nonetheless, Ferrick got a job with a since-disbanded news service, the United Press International, in Philadelphia and later in Harrisburg. In 1976, he was hired as a Statehouse reporter in Harrisburg for the Inquirer and climbed through a series of reporting and editing positions. For the Inquirer, Ferrick has been, among other roles, the City Hall bureau chief, a poverty reporter, a political writer, a deputy editor and a special projects writer. Ferrick was a Richard Burke Memorial Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania in 1996 . Recently, Ferrick has been active in the Great Expectations Project, a partnership between UPenn and the Inquirer, which has held public forums throughout Philadelphia to accumulate the feelings of voters in order to influence the 2007 Philadelphia mayoral race.
Ferrick has won numerous local, state and national awards for his work, including the George Polk Award, an Associated Press Managing Editors Award, a World Hunger Award and, in 2008, the Hal Hovey Award, given by Governing Magazine to honor excellence in coverage of government and politics. In 1978, Ferrick was a member of a team of Inquirer reporters who covered the nuclear accident at the Three Mile Island plant, coverage that was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. In 2005, he was named one of "Pennsylvania's Most Influential Reporters" by the Pennsylvania political news website PoliticsPA.
His father, for whom Ferrick is named, was a major league pitcher for five teams from 1941 through 1952. His career reached a pinnacle when, in 1950, while playing for the New York Yankees, he led American League relief pitchers in wins and beat his hometown Phillies in the third game of a four-game sweep.
Ferrick also serves as a lecturer in journalism at Bryn Mawr College.
By Dean Hanley
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