Author Ben Montgomery @ the SHPL

Meet Ben Montgomery, award winning journalist, Pulitzer Prize finalist, and author of the New York Times bestseller Grandma Gatewood’s Walk, on Thursday, February 23, 6:30 pm at the Safety Harbor Public Library. Montgomery, a staff writer at the Tampa Bay Times will discuss his latest book, The Leper Spy: The Story of an Unlikely Hero of World War II. Copies will be available for sale and signing.

The Leper Spy chronicles a tiny, young Filipina woman, Josefina Guerrero. As a top spy for the Allies during World War II, she stashed explosives, tracked Japanese troop movements, and smuggled maps of fortifications across enemy lines. Guerrero suffered from leprosy, which horrified the Japanese, so they refused to search her. After the war, army chaplains found her in a leper colony and campaigned for the US government to welcome a foreigner with leprosy.

Montgomery is the founder of the narrative journalism website and a 2010 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting. He won the Dart Award and Casey Medal for the series For Their Own Good, about abuse at Florida's oldest reform school. He lives in Tampa.

This event is sponsored by the Safety Harbor Library Foundation. The Library is located at 101 2nd Street N. Safety Harbor. Call 724-1525 x 4112 for more information or visit

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