Born and raised in and around Toronto, Dan Lett came to Winnipeg in 1986, less than a year out of journalism school with a lifelong dream to be a newspaper reporter.
No really, it was his earliest dream, one that possessed him since he was a kid. He carefully studied every episode of Lou Grant, watched All the President’s Men repeatedly and memorized Humphrey Bogart’s concluding monologue from Deadline USA.
As you can imagine, Dan did not have many friends growing up. That’s what happens when no one on the playground will go “on the record.”
Since arriving in Winnipeg, he has worked at Free Press bureaus covering every level of government — from city hall to the national bureau in Ottawa. And he has seen some stuff.
He has had bricks thrown at him in riots following the 1995 Quebec referendum, wrote stories that helped in part to free three wrongly convicted men, met Fidel Castro, was trapped in a riot with Imelda Marcos, interviewed three Philippine presidents, crossed two borders in Africa illegally, chased Somali pirates in a Canadian warship and had several guns pointed at him.
In other words, he’s had every experience a journalist could ever hope for.
He has also been fortunate enough to be a two-time nominee for a National Newspaper Award, winning in 2003 for investigations. Other awards include winner of the B’Nai Brith National Human Rights Media Award and nominee for the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism.
Dan’s principal beat now is politics, but he also dabbles in justice and youth sports. He also devotes time to programming content at the Free Press News Café.
Now firmly rooted in Winnipeg, Dan visits Toronto often, but no longer pines to live there.