Photo by Deborah Triplett
Pam Kelley started her career at a wonderful afternoon newspaper, the Charlotte News, where she covered murders, many zoning hearings, and, on one memorable night, a wreck that spilled chicken necks all over Trade Street. She reported for more than 30 years at the Charlotte Observer on wide-ranging subjects, including higher education, books, and family issues. She co-authored an investigation of group homes for mentally ill children that prompted the governor to order statewide inspections. And she spent a year writing stories about a fifth-grade teacher and his students in one of Charlotte's highest-poverty schools. She first met Money Rock in 1986, when she was covering a cocaine-related shootout in Piedmont Courts, the public housing project pictured on the book's cover.
Her awards include honors from the National Press Club, National Education Writers Association and the Society for Features Journalism. She contributed to a subprime mortgage exposé that was a 2008 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
Pam grew up in Hamilton, Ohio, then headed south to UNC Chapel Hill, where she earned a BA in journalism. She has an MFA in nonfiction from Goucher College. She lives with her husband, Trent Foley, in Cornelius, North Carolina. They have two grown children.