In a career spanning four decades as an investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Bill Rempel roamed the globe uncovering the secrets of dictators, mobsters, arms smugglers, drug bosses, conmen, crooks, and the financiers of terror. He was investigating and writing about al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden before Sept. 11, 2001.
Delving into the corrupt regime of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos led him to the dictator’s secret diaries and resulted in his first book, Delusions of a Dictator (recently updated and re-released as an e-Book titled Diary of a Dictator — Ferdinand & Imelda: The Last Days of Camelot.) He has reported on controversial U.S. arms deals with Iran, illegal shipments of American military explosives to terrorist camps in Libya, and private sales of Soviet-made cargo planes to Colombian drug lords.
In the U.S. he has produced groundbreaking reports on subjects ranging from oil tanker safety prior to the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska to White House scandals under Republican and Democratic administrations. His work has inspired consumer protection legislation in California and judicial reforms in Nevada.
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 former Alaskan discovered the true meaning of “cold” when, in 1980, he was assigned to the newspaper’s Chicago bureau for five winters.
His writing 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, as well as on numerous Public Radio broadcasts including This American Life.
His latest hardcover book, At the Devil’s Table, is an exclusive insider’s account of the fall of the Cali drug cartel, the result of patient and extraordinary reporting efforts that spanned 12 years. An 80-episode Spanish language television series based on the book has been produced by Sony/Teleset for initial broadcast in Colombia scheduled for early 2015. It also has been optioned by a leading Hollywood studio for development as a major motion picture.