Sam Howe Verhovek was born in Boston and graduated in 1983 from Stanford University, where was editor-in-chief of The Stanford Daily. He worked for James Reston, the former editor and columnist in Washington for The New York Times, and as a reporter in Tokyo for the Asahi Evening News, before joining the metro desk of The New York Times in 1985. At the Times, he was a g.a. reporter, Bronx bureau chief and Albany correspondent before becoming the Houston-based Texas correspondent in 1993. After five years covering Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, he moved to Seattle and was the Times's Pacific Northwest correspondent from 1998 to 2002. In 2002 he joined the Los Angeles Times, working for a year as a foreign correspondent in the Middle East and China, and subsequently as a Seattle-based national correspondent. He lives in Seattle with his wife, Lisa, and their three children, Gordie, Alice and Johnny.