He and colleague Carl Bernstein were assigned to investigate the June 17, 1972 burglary of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at Washington, D.C office building called Watergate. Their work led to uncovering a large number of political "dirty tricks" used by Nixon to ensure his re-election. In 1973, they won the Pulitzer Prize for this reporting, and their book about the scandal, All the President's Men was a best-seller that was later turned into a movie (1976) starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman.
Born in Geneva, Illinois, and a graduate of Yale University, Woodward served in the United States Navy as a communications officer. He began his newspaper career with the Sentinel of Montgomery County, Maryland. He joined The Washington Post in 1971, and in 1981 became assistant managing editor for investigations.
Since Watergate, Woodward has remained in the public eye by writing eight non-fiction books covering topics ranging from the US Supreme Court to the death of comic John Belushi to the Bush administration's preparations for the Iraq war.
Woodward uses a distinct approach to writing a book. In preparation, he tries to obtain the maxium amount of information on his subject, through interviews, documents, transcripts, and recordings. He then uses this information to re-create the event in the form of a fast-paced story with present tense events and dialogue.
Woodward has often been accused of exaggeration and outright fabrication by other journalists. He was the subject of an article by Christopher Hitchens in the June 2003 edition of The Atlantic Monthly, titled Aural History. In the article, Hitchens takes Woodward to task for allegedly trading credulous and positive coverage of his subjects for exclusive access to them.