Former American journalist Janet Cooke is infamously known to have faked an article, ‘Jimmy’s World’ for The Washington Post. The article had credited her with a Pulitzer Prize in the year 1981. But when the information of the article was found to be fabricated, Janet had to return the Pulitzer Prize.
Besides the controversy, she was married once and experienced the failure in her relationship.
Personal Life Dwells In Failures
Janet Cooke was previously married to an Attorney. She had moved to Paris with her husband in 1985. However, their relationship stumbled upon bumps, and the duo got divorced to part ways.
Janet has not yet revealed the details of her husband and her children from her marriage.
After the divorce, Janet moved on via a new relationship with her childhood friend Mike Sager, a former Post Reporter. The duo started dating. But just like her marriage, Janet's new affair also didn't last long, and the pair separated.
Since then, no information on Janet's relationship status has yet surfaced out.
Janet’s Short Bio
63-year-old Janet was born on 23 July 1954 in Toledo, Ohia, the U.S.
She had claimed that she had a degree from Vassar College and a Master's Degree from the University of Toledo, but her information later came out to be false. She had attended the University of Toledo but had earned only Bachelor's degree in arts from the institution.
Pulitzer Price Scandal
Janet Cooke joined the Weeklies section staff of the Washington Post in the year 1980. In September 1980, she wrote an article titled ‘Jimmy’s World ’ for the magazine.
The article depicted a profile of the life of an eight-year-old drug addict since the age of five when his mother's live-in boyfriend first allowed Jimmy to sniff some drugs. According to Janet, the boyfriend was a drug dealer, and that Jimmy’s mother and grandmother also were drug addicts.
The story even stated that Jimmy went to school only to learn math so he could be a better drug dealer when he grew older.
Before the publications of the story, Janet told her editors that Jimmy’s mother’s boyfriend had threatened the life of their family if any authorities or police discovered Jimmy's whereabouts.
The story became so famous that Janet was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing on 13 April 1981.
Upon publication, Jimmy’s article engendered much sympathy among readers, including Marion Barry, then mayor of Washington, D.C. They organized an all-out police search for the boy, but they failed to get any information. Janet was caught and exposed, and people found out that the story was just fabricated.
So, Janet had to resign and also return back the Prize.
In the year 1996, Cooke gave an interview about the "Jimmy's World" to her former boyfriend, Mike Sager. They sold the film rights to the story to Tri-Star Pictures for $1.6 million. However, the project never moved past the script stage.
While decades have passed, but the fabricated story, Jimmy’s World still stands as a testament to the pressures facing journalists in the world of news today.
As of now, Janet is living in Kalamazoo, Michigan while working as a sales clerk in a clothing store.