Dan Wooding

Biography

Dan Wooding's career must rate as one of the most unusual in journalism. For he has gone from being a correspondent for the National Enquirer and a staffer on two of Britain's raciest tabloids, to an undercover reporter and campaigner for persecuted Christians in the restricted countries of the world. Wooding, 61, began his journalistic career in 1968 in London, England, with The Christian, Britain's oldest evangelical newspaper, rising to become its chief reporter. During that time, he interviewed people like Mahalia Jackson and Corretta Scott-King, widow of the late Martin Luther King, Jr. He then moved to the Middlesex County Times in Ealing, London, where he wrote some of the earliest stories on the Monty Python team, who made most of their programs in Ealing. After five years with this local paper, when he also became a correspondent for all of Britain's national newspapers, including The Times, he was given a staff job as a senior reporter with the Sunday People in London, which has the second highest circulation of any newspaper in Europe. Specializing in crime, religion and show business, he interviewed people like Ronnie Kray, Britain's most infamous gangster, Johnny Mathis, Burt Lancaster, David Soul, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr from The Beatles. He also interviewed Mother Teresa in Calcutta. Wooding was also a London-based correspondent for the National Enquirer, America's largest circulation tabloid and later worked as a senior reporter with London's Sunday Mirror. After a spiritual renewal in his life, Wooding left this form of journalism and has specialized in eyewitness reporting of persecuted Christians around the world. He has filed stories from Albania, Burma, China, Cuba, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Grenada, Israel (and the West Bank and Gaza), Jordan, Lebanon, Nicaragua, North Korea, Romania, Uganda and Vietnam, to name some of the hot spots. His articles on Christians being persecuted for their faith are published worldwide and his weekly commentary was carried for ten years on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. Besides his reporting activities, he also assisted in taking Bibles to these restricted areas. He has worked as a writer and broadcaster with Billy Graham in Moscow, Russia; Essen, Germany and, more recently, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He wrote the cover story on Billy Graham, his wife Ruth, and son, Franklin, for the March/April 1996 issue of the Saturday Evening Post. Wooding is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times), based in Garden Grove, California, and is the president of the ASSIST News Service, a daily news service that sends stories to 2,600 media around the world (www.assistnews.net). He also co-hosts "Window on the World," a radio program about the persecuted church that is carried on 350 radio stations around the word. While still in London, Dan was a reporter for BBC Radio 1. In the United States, he has been the co-host of the popular TV show, "The Hollywood Connection," as well as a regular guest on the "700 Club" and for several years on the Trinity Broadcasting Network's "Joy" program. Dan is a member of the National Union of Journalists and the International Press Association, and, since moving with his family to the United States in 1982, Wooding has received numerous awards for his writing. In 1984, he was awarded the Bronze Halo award from the Southern California Motion Picture Council for his stories on the "Suffering Church." The Evangelical Press Association in the USA awarded him first prize in their 1984 "Higher Goals" contest for his eyewitness reporting from war-torn Lebanon. In February 1987, he received a Silver Angel from the Hollywood-based Religion in Media organization for eyewitness reporting from Albania. In March 2002, he was awarded a special Teddy Bear crystal award from the Christian Film and Television Commission at a media breakfast in Bel Air, CA, for his contribution to Christian journalism around the world. The Friends of the Library of the University of California, Irvine, has also honored him with awards for 8 of the 41 books he has written. One of the latest is Blind Faith, which he co-authored with his 93-year-old mother, tells the moving story of her work as a pioneer Braille Missionary amongst the blind people of Nigeria. Queen Elizabeth has subsequently honored the book. Wooding was born in Nigeria of missionary parents. He has toured Southeast Asia and other parts of the world as a speaker. He has been married to Norma for 39 years and they have two sons, Andrew and Peter, who are both journalists in England.