Howard has covered the arts for the Chicago Tribune since 1978 and joined the staff in 1983. He has written six books: "The Art of Inventing Hope: Intimate Conversations with Elie Wiesel," “Portraits in Jazz,” “Let Freedom Swing,” “Jelly’s Blues” (with William Gaines), “Van Cliburn” and “Prisoner of Her Past” (originally published as “The First and Final Nightmare of Sonia Reich”). The latter inspired the Kartemquin documentary film Prisoner of Her Past which Reich wrote, narrated and co-produced.
He has served on the jury for the Pulitzer Prize in Music four times, including the first time a jazz work won: Wynton Marsalis’ “Blood on the Fields.” Reich has won an Emmy Award; two Deems Taylor Awards from ASCAP; Alumni Merit Award from Northwestern University; Bravo Award from Dominican University; the Anne Keegan Award and eight Peter Lisagor Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists; and an Excellence in Journalism Award from the Chicago Association of Black Journalists. The Chicago Journalists Association named him Chicago Journalist of the Year in 2011 and has given him three Sarah Brown Boyden Awards. He holds two honorary doctorate degrees.
He’s writer and co-producer of Kartemquin film-in-progress, Left-Handed Pianist.