Lucinda Franks graduated from Vassar and then went to London where she got a job as a coffee girl at United Press International. She wrote news stories on her own time, visiting Northern Ireland when civil war broke out. At 22, she found herself dodging bullets and sending back stories to UPI headquarters, which later won several awards.
She then was summoned to New York to investigate a new phenomenon; highly educated young people who had formed a revolutionary terrorist group called Weatherman. Franks entered the radical underground and traced the life of Diana Oughton, who had blown herself up making dynamite bombs in the cellar of a New York town house. The five part newspaper series won Franks and reporter Thomas Powers the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. Franks was the first woman to win it.
In 1974, she joined the staff of the New York Times and then wrote for the New Yorker, New York, and other magazines. One of her New Yorker stories, about the struggle between the adoptive and birth parents of a three-year-old child, was made into a television movie.
She has been a visiting professor at Yale, Princeton, and Vassar and has written four books including Waiting Out A War: The Exile Of Private John Picciano, (non fiction), Wild Apples (novel), and My Father’s Secret War (memoir). She has also won The Society of the Silurians Award twice and the Easter Seal Award.
She lives in New York City with her husband, Robert Morgenthau.