Bill Rempel is a veteran investigative reporter and editor who specializes in foreign and national projects. During a 36-year career at the Los Angeles Times, he produced groundbreaking reports on subjects ranging from oil tanker safety prior to the Exxon Valdez disaster to the menace of al Qaeda prior to September 11, 2001. His investigative work on the corrupt regime of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos led to disclosure of the Marcos diaries and resulted in his first book, Delusions of a Dictator for Little, Brown and Company (1993). It was updated, revised and re-released in 2013 as an e-Book, Diary of a Dictator — Ferdinand & Imelda: The Last Days of Camelot.
Among other international stories, he has co-authored exclusive reports detailing secret U.S. arms deals with Iran, tracking tons of explosives smuggled to terrorist camps in Libya, tracing embargoed nuclear technology out of South Africa and documenting sales and leases of Ukrainian military cargo planes to Colombian drug lords.
His domestic stories have inspired consumer protection legislation. He was co-writer of a 2006 series on Las Vegas judges resulting in reforms ordered in Nevada state courts. In the 1990s, he broke a number of stories about Bill Clinton in Arkansas and financial controversies surrounding the Clinton-Gore presidential campaign. In 2000, his reporting in Texas documented how criminals and other unqualified applicants obtained permits to carry concealed handguns under a law signed by then-Gov. George W. Bush.
Rempel was born in Palmer, Alaska, a grandson of Matanuska Valley pioneers and homesteaders. As a boy, he moved with his parents to California where he later attended Pepperdine College on a journalism scholarship. His first newsroom after graduation was at the Copley-owned South Bay Daily Breeze where he became assistant city editor.
He joined the Los Angeles Times in 1973. The Alaska-born journalist discovered the true meaning of “cold” when, in 1980, he was assigned to the newspaper’s Chicago bureau for five winters. He has been recognized with numerous journalism honors, including an Overseas Press Club award and the Gerald Loeb Award. Rempel also was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. He has appeared on television news shows including The Today Show, Nightline, Hardball and Reliable Sources.
His latest hardcover book, At the Devil’s Table, is a narrative insider’s account of the fall of the Cali drug cartel, the result of a reporting effort that spanned 12 years.