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Lane DeGregory, Times Staff Writer

Lane DeGregory

Lane DeGregory is a Pulitzer Prize-winning Tampa Bay Times feature writer who prefers writing about people in the shadows. She went to work with a 100-year-old man who still swept out a seafood warehouse, hung out beneath a bridge with a colony of sex offenders, followed a feral child who was adopted.

Lane graduated from the University of Virginia, where she was editor in chief of the Cavalier Daily student newspaper. Later, she earned a master's degree in rhetoric and communication studies from the University of Virginia.

For 10 years, she wrote news and feature stories for the Virginian-Pilot, based in Norfolk, Va. In 2000, Lane moved to Florida to write for the Times. She's married to a drummer, Dan DeGregory, and they have two teenage sons, Ryland and Tucker.

Lane's stories have appeared in the Best Newspaper Writing editions of 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2008. She has taught journalism at the University of South Florida - St. Petersburg, been a speaker at the Nieman Narrative Conference at Harvard University and has won dozens of national awards, including the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing.

Other awards include:

2014: Finalist, American Society of Newspaper Editors Batten Medal for portfolio.

2012: Finalist, American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for nondeadline writing.

2011: Inducted as a Fellow with the Society of Professional Journalists for lifetime achievement.

2010: Winner, American Society of Newspaper Editors Batten Medal for portfolio.

2009: Winner, National Headliner Award for feature writing.

2008: Winner, American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for nondeadline writing.

2007: Winner, Ernie Pyle Award from the Scripps Howard Foundation for human interest writing.

Phone: (727) 893-8825


Twitter: @LaneDeGregory

Phone: (727) 893-8825


Twitter: @LaneDeGregory

  1. Prince Vinegar's last stand: Would you know when it's time to go? Are you sure?

    Human Interest

    OCALA — On a bright, breezy morning in early spring, the old sculptor got his first sign that the end was near.

    He was working in his studio — the screened carport off his trailer — sipping cold coffee, smoking a hand-rolled cigarette, listening to a cassette of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.

    Above him, paper cranes flew from thin wires. Around him, wind chimes danced. ...

    Ronald "Ted" Andrews poses for a portrait in his home in Ocala on September 29, 2016. Andrews woke up at 3:30 every morning, but would wake to his wife at 7 by rubbing her feet in the dim morning light of their bedroom. When the hospice bed was installed in the living room, Carolyn was the one who began to rub Ted's feet after it became too difficult for him to walk. EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times
  2. Lane DeGregory: Parents, be grateful for dishes and laundry

    Human Interest

    To all parents —

    Of little ones, who clang pots and crawl into your bed spewing scary dreams.

    Of grade schoolers, who need to be dropped at soccer practice and picked up from slumber parties.

    Of teenagers, who worry you with crushes and missed curfews.

    You don't know how good you've still got it!

    For 20 years, our two sons were my world. Even when they were at school, or I was working, my mind was on them. Even when they holed up in their man caves, at least they were home....

    Tucker and Ryland DeGregory watch their mom, Lane DeGregory, through the back window of their rented RV in May 2006. Now, she misses these moments.
  3. Up all night with the voters of Tampa Bay, watching a presidential election surprise (w/video)


    At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, a supervisor poked her head out of the double doors of a voting precinct in the University of South Florida student center. "Ladies and gentlemen," she announced, "the polls are closing." Four minutes too late, a young woman showed up, in tears. All she or anyone else could do now was wait.

    It was a cool, clear evening in Tampa Bay, home to some of the most crucial counties in one of the most crucial states in the most divisive election in modern American history....

    Volunteer Linda Tavis of Santa Rosa, CA watches the late returns at the Hillary for Florida election night watch party, Tuesday, 11/08/2016 in the Florida Ballroom at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, 700 South Florida Avenue, Tampa, Florida. Tavis was part of a group of Clinton volunteers from Santa Rosa, CA who traveled to help out in Fl.
  4. Time capsule: On a beach, he found a box containing a stranger's ashes

    Human Interest

    Time capsule: This is a recurring Floridian magazine feature that allows readers to re-experience some of the Tampa Bay Times' best stories with the wisdom of hindsight. Writer Lane DeGregory got a phone call last month about this story, from the children of Dr. Ayestaran. He held on to that box for years, they told her. But he never got close to finding out whose remains were inside, where they came from or where they belonged....

    Atlantic Ocean with Cape Finisterre in the background. Goes with update on Lane DeGregory story running in Floridian 11/06/16.
  5. Ghostly warning: Dead gangster Ma Barker doesn't want her house moved

    Human Interest

    OCKLAWAHA — He called the newsroom with a warning: They can't move that house.

    "I'm worried something terrible is going to happen," the man said in a thick New York accent. "I have to warn somebody."

    Then he told me a ghost story.

    His name is Donald J. Weiss. He's a 62-year-old retired police patrolman from upstate New York. He had moved to Ocala several years ago and visited the house where gangster Ma Barker had been killed. He had wanted to see the site of the longest shootout in FBI history: four hours, more than 2,000 bullets....

    Retired New York police officer Donald Weiss says he sees Ma Barker on the porch in this photograph he took of the historic lakeside home in 2005.
  6. How do you tell a story without words? Two dancers give it a spin.


    ST. PETERSBURG — The dance came from a conversation. About having conversations. Some of the best ones, the two dancers agreed, had been with strangers.

    So they started there.

    Kellie Harmon, 27, told her friend about a girl she had met on a New York subway. The girl was 6, maybe 7, and asked Kellie if she had any princess songs on her phone.

    Crystal DelGiudice, 30, told her friend about a man she met in an Ybor City bar. He looked like some hipster jock but wanted to discuss philosophy and astronomy, the meaning of life....

    Kellie Harmon, left, and Crystal DelGiudice work on an interpretive dance about conversations.
  7. This painting made two people fall in love and helped a man connect with the dead

    Human Interest


    One night last spring, Gordon Stevenson plugged his name into Google. Up popped a link to an episode of Antiques Roadshow.

    "Gordon Stevenson," read the link. "Portrait of a Man Painting, ca. 1940."

    His grandfather, his namesake, had been a painter. Gordon had only one of his works, a portrait of his departed dad. It hangs above Gordon's bed in his Tampa home, and was watching over him that night....

    Steven Nicoll and Catherine Rogers fell in love after the painting, which Nicoll bought at a Siesta Key yard sale in 1987, brought them together in Charleston, S.C. They brought the portrait to St. Petersburg last month  and gave it to Gordon Stevenson, whose grandfather painted it.
  8. A month after mass shooting at Pulse nightclub, survivors struggle to keep the dead alive

    Human Interest

    ORLANDO — They stood on the second-floor balcony of his townhouse, staring over the chain-link fence, into the parking lot of what's left of Pulse nightclub.

    One month to the day after the deadliest mass shooting in American history, cleaning crews scuttled in and out. Police still surrounded the broken building, their red and blue lights striping the streets.

    From their perch, Brock Cornelius, 40, and his friend Samantha Stone, 36, watched the throngs stream to the makeshift memorial, cradling daisies, setting up candles, dropping to their knees to pray....

    A few hours after Samantha Stone took this selfie at Pulse on June 11, the shooting began and a body fell through the beaded doorway.
  9. For these sick children, each tiny bead is a badge of courage

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — After the transplant team finished its rounds, after nurses checked her oxygen level and a doctor came to say: Yes, she would have to have surgery again today, Maddie Price asked her mom to hand her the paisley drawstring bag hanging in her hospital room.

    Maddie, 16, struggled to sit up. She was pale and puffy from all the medication. A month earlier, she had received her second new heart and suffered all kinds of complications....

    Maddie Price, 16, is comforted by her mother, Melanie Price, left, and child life specialist Loren Mirsky-Piatkin as she prepares to undergo another procedure Wednesday in the wake of her second heart transplant in June.
  10. After a lifetime of labor and sleepless nights, a Tampa doctor decides to deliver his last baby, No. 7,357

    Human Interest

    By LANE DeGREGORY | Times Staff Writer


    His pregnant patient was progressing slowly at home. So the doctor told her to head to the hospital. He would meet her there.

    Dr. Bruce Shephard, 72, walked through his office, where the walls were filled with children's faces.

    Sleeping infants, laughing toddlers, gap-toothed grade schoolers, prom princesses. Every age, from a minute old through motherhood....

    Dr. Bruce Shephard, 72, delivers his last baby, the son of Elizabeth DeRocher and Antonio Davalos III, at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital. Registered nurse Sandy Viliquett watches at left as DeRocher’s mother, Cheryl, takes photos.
  11. The aftermath of the Orlando nightclub shooting tests the courage of gay youth

    Human Interest

    ORLANDO — Matt Casler didn't recognize his neighborhood as he drove home last Sunday morning.

    Cop cars lined every corner. Barricades blocked the streets. Sirens screamed.

    A few hours after the deadliest shooting in U.S. history, it had been turned into a war zone.

    He steered past armed troopers, beneath hovering helicopters. Dizzy and disoriented, the 18-year-old kept checking his phone: 20 dead so far, and the count would climb....

    Orlando siblings Sara Casler, 22, left, and Matt Casler, 18, were seared by the carnage at the warm gay nightclub in their neighborhood.
  12. Drag queen who escaped Orlando shooting calls for the music to play on

    Human Interest

    ORLANDO — The drag queen dressed in all black. For mourning. She stepped onto the stage in her long-sleeved gown, towering in her sequined heels.

    At the edge of the stage she stopped. So did the music. She looked into the crowd, which got quiet.

    She was supposed to be lip-synching, sashaying down the runway. But since Sunday, she hadn't felt like dancing.

    "You all are brave," she told the crowd in Orlando's Parliament House Resort at about 1 a.m. Wednesday. "I know your parents told you not to come out tonight. But you did. And we thank you. We're here to give you a show."...

    Drag queen Angelica Sanchez lip-synchs to Jennifer Hudson’s “Bring Back the Music.” Three nights earlier she was at Pulse.
  13. At report card time, kids bring their grades to 'Grandmom'

    Human Interest


    She wasn't sure, with the rain and all, how many kids would come by. She couldn't sit out on the porch and call them over. It was still too wet.

    So on the last day of school, she spread the bulging candy bags across her coffee table, set out cookies, chips, a stack of new $1 bills, and sank into her sofa to wait.

    Marian Evette Williams, 59, lives in a one-story bungalow in Childs Park, near the empty corner lot where the neighborhood kids hang out. She knows them all by name, knows who lives where and what school they go to. She fusses at them: "Pick up that trash! Pull up your pants! Stop cussing! Don't give me no sass, now. I'm not playin'!"...

    This photo from the 1960s shows Ruth Williams, standing center, and her daughter Marian Williams, who is standing in front of and looking up at her mother, with a group of teens and children at the Jordan Park Community Center. 
  14. Community gathers to thank Alberta, the yellow lab guide dog who served them all


    ST. PETERSBURG — All afternoon, they streamed into Alberta's home. Students and professors, kids from the church down the street. A yoga teacher. A tennis pro. Friends from the dog training club.

    They came bearing cookies, cheese and wine, a poster to sign. The dean had bought sparkly paint. The Uber driver brought meatloaf.

    For five hours, they shared stories and hugs as they said good-bye and wished Alberta a happy, healthy retirement....

    Deni Elliott, left, who is visually impaired and a professor at the University of South Florida, spends time with her guide dog Alberta on the last birthday they will share together at her home in St. Petersburg. Elliott will have to part ways with Alberta because of a recent discovery of melanoma in the canine's right iris. OCTAVIO JONES | Times 

  15. A Mother's Day message from jail (w/video)

    Human Interest

    CLEARWATER — She sits outside the sewing circle, her plastic chair tipped toward the door. Like all the other inmates, she wears gray scrubs. The dark roots of her honey-colored hair mark the months she has been behind bars.

    Michelle Duhamel, 47, had been in jail before.

    But since she walked into that Walmart last summer and stole a pineapple, nectarines and a fist full of sports bras, she has lost everything....

    Michelle Duhamel, 47, raises her arms to shake away any negativity with other Pinellas jail inmates in a group session.