Biography, Hank Nuwer


Hank Nuwer began keeping a database about hazing deaths in 1975 and maintains the Hazing Deaths database. The first shorter database appeared in his article for Human Behavior magazine in 1978.  His first hard-hitting, book-length investigation of hazing deaths appeared in 1990, and its title was Broken Pledges: the Deadly Rite of Hazing.

Today, Hank at 75 is a full-time author and winner of Ohio’s SPJ Best Columnist award (under 60,000 circulation newspapers)for his Daily Advocate column. He has taught at a number of universities. At Ball State, he advised the Pacemaker student magazine rated one of the best in the nation. He personally was named a best new adviser by the College Media Advisers. He also was Ball State’s nominee for CASE professor of the year.

A member of the Ball State University journalism hall of fame , he is a 2021 SPJ winner of Ohio’s Best Columnist for the Greenville Daily Advocate. He taught 18 years at Franklin College and is now professor emeritus. His colleagues twice named him scholar of the year, and a student organization named him FC professor of the year. He taught many years as an adjunct while writing fulltime, including Indiana University (Indianapolis), Anderson University and Temple University at Ambler. He also was a visiting professor at the University of Richmond and taught one year at Clemson University. He serves on the scientific council of a university in Poland and contributes to its journal. 

He holds a master’s degree in English from New Mexico Highlands University.

Hank Nuwer and Malgorzata Wroblewska-Nuwer, 2021
Hank Nuwer, SPJ Best Column

He has written additional books on the topic of hazing in society including Hazing: Destroying Young LivesWrongs of Passage, High School Hazing, and The Hazing Reader.

His book, Rendezvousing with Contemporary Authors, has interviews with David Mamet, William Least Heat Moon, Kurt Vonnegut, Rosemary Rogers, James Dickey, John Jakes, Maurice Sendak and many other writers. Many of the interviews were reprinted in collections dedicated to a single author.

He is a contributor to The Quill magazine, Limberlost Review and The Conversation. Other bylines of his over the years appeared in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Santa Fe New Mexican, Orlando Sentinel, Buffalo Courier-Express and other newspapers.

He has written books suitable for teens including his novel Sons of the Dawn, plus the nonfiction books High School Hazing, The Legend of Jesse Owens, Steroids and To the Young Writer.

Hank Nuwer graduation picture, 1968(left); right, Hank Nuwer receives SUNY honorary doctorate from BSC President Dr. Muriel Howard, 2006

Hank has an honorary doctorate from the State University of New York (Buffalo State, 2006) and taken additional graduate coursework at the University of Nevada and Hamline University.

Ball State University awarded him its doctoral equivalency for his research and publications in 1986 and elected him in 2010 to the BSU Journalism Hall of Fame.

He is married to Malgorzata (Gosia) Wroblewska-Nuwer. He has two grown sons and two grandchildren. Gosia has one grown daughter, a Ph.D. in biology from Cambridge.

The couple lives in Indiana and Warsaw, Poland–with visits to their Alaska properties in Tok and Alexander Creek, AK.

Charitable work: He contributes regularly to HazingPrevention and the Buffalo State College Hank Nuwer Collection and BSC Hazing Collection managed by BSC archivist Daniel DiLandro.

Link to the Buffalo State (SUNY) Hank Nuwer Hazing Collection


Hank Nuwer on CBS Sunday Morning

His interests include travel with his wife Malgorzata, collecting tropical fish and authors on international stamps, flyfishing, riding horses, and reading quality literature and novels about the American West.

Hank’s crusading journalism to eradicate hazing was honored by the NGLA and