Francesca Fontana

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Francesca Fontana (born October 18, 1994) is an American journalist from Chicago, Illinois. She is a reporter for The Wall Street Journal in New York City.

Early life and education

Fontana was born in 1994 in Chicago, Illinois.[1][2] She is of Mexican-Italian descent.[2]

Her father, Albert Fontana, was Prison|incarcerated when she was nine years old.[2] He was an amateur Bodybuilding|bodybuilder who was recruited by a group of Corruption|corrupt Chicago Police Department police officers and employees to participate in a fake raid of a drug stash house to steal money and Narcotic|narcotics.[2] Fontana's father was a one-time replacement for another member of the crew who had retired.[2] In 2001, the group, led by former Chicago Police Department#Eddie C. Hicks|Sgt. Eddie C. Hicks, impersonated Drug Enforcement Administration task force officers and raided a South Side, Chicago|South Side apartment set up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to look like a stash house.[3][2]

The Sting operation|sting resulted in the arrests of the men. In 2003, Fontana’s father was sentenced to 44 months in federal prison.[2] Hicks fled on the eve of his trial that year and remained a fugitive until he was arrested in 2017.[4] Hicks was found guilty of multiple charges, including extortion, bribery, and racketeering, in 2019.[5]

After her father was incarcerated in 2003, Fontana and her mother moved from Chicago to Portland, Oregon|Portland, Oregon.[2] Fontana attended Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School.[6]

Fontana graduated from the University of Oregon’s Robert D. Clark Honors College in 2017 with a degree in Journalism.[7] Fontana paid her own way through university, as she later recounted in a column for The Wall Street Journal.[8] Her undergraduate thesis, “Seeking Truth Through Investigative journalism|Investigative Memoir,” explored her father’s criminal past.[9]


Fontana began her journalism career as an intern at various newspapers in Oregon, including The Oregonian. She worked as a reporter at The Register-Guard in Eugene, Oregon during her time at university.[8][10]

Fontana joined The Wall Street Journal as an intern in 2017.[10] She returned to the newspaper as a reporter in 2018.[11] As of 2021, she reports for Exchange, The Wall Street Journal’s business and finance feature section.[12]

In 2019, Fontana wrote about her father's criminal past and her experience attending the trial of Eddie Hicks for The Wall Street Journal.[2] That year, Fontana announced on Twitter that she was represented by New York Literary agent|literary agency Massie & McQuilkin.[13]

In 2020, Fontana was a recipient of a Front Page Award from the Newswomen's Club of New York|Newswomen’s Club of New York.[14]

Personal life

Fontana lives in New York City with her husband and two cats.[15][12]

In December 2019, Fontana married Visual arts|visual artist Ryan J. Brady, Elopement|eloping in Portland, Oregon.[16]


  1. "Login • Instagram". Retrieved 2021-11-22. {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Fontana, Francesca (2019-11-22). "My Father, His Crime and My Search for the True Story". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  3. "5 Dec 2001, 171 - Chicago Tribune at". Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  4. Meisner, Jason. "Ex-Chicago cop, a fugitive for almost 15 years, arrested in Detroit". Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  5. "Former CPD Sergeant Eddie Hicks Found Guilty, Spent 14 Years On The Lam". 2019-03-11. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  6. Press, KATU Staff and Associated (2021-01-27). "Wilson High School in Portland renamed for Black journalist, suffragist Ida B. Wells". KATU. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  7. "Wall Street Journal internship turns into career for CHC alum Francesca Fontana". Clark Honors College. 2019-06-24. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Fontana, Francesca (2021-11-14). "I Graduated From College Free of Student Debt. I'm Not a Model for Anyone". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  9. "HURF Recipients | Research and Innovation". Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Francesca Fontana to be second Wall Street Journal Pensiero intern". School of Journalism and Communication. 2017-03-02. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  11. "WSJ hires Fontana as an equities reporter". Talking Biz News. 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Francesca Fontana". WSJ Women In. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  13. "". Twitter. Retrieved 2021-11-22. {{cite web}}: External link in |title= (help)
  14. "2020 Front Page Awards". THE NEWSWOMEN'S CLUB OF NEW YORK. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  15. "francesca fontana". francesca fontana. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  16. Fontana, Francesca (2020-10-16). "I Married Him for Love—and So He Could Be on My Health Insurance". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-11-22.

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