Rick Atkinson (born 1952, in Munich) is an American journalist and author whose contributions led to four Pulitzer Prizes.
Atkinson was born in Munich. His father was an United States Army officer and he grew up at military post. He earned his bachelor degree from East Carolina University in 1974 and a master of art degree from the University of Chicago in 1976. His first reporting job was at The Morning Sun in Pittsburg, Kansas He started working at the Kansas City Times in 1977. He won the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for articles including a series on the West Point Class of 1966. He also contributed to the Times overall effort which won it another Pulitzer Prize the same year for the coverage of the Hyatt Regency walkway collapse.
In 1983 he worked for The Washington Post where he covered The Pentagon and the 1984 Presidential election and was national editor for two years. He went on book leave in 1988 to finish The Long Gray Line, which he had begun reporting on in Kansas City. He returned to the Post in 1989 and was the paper's lead reporter in the 1991 Gulf War. He went on leave again to finish a book about the war Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War. In 1993 he returned to the Post as its Berlin bureau covering conflicts in Bosnia and Somalia. The Post won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for public service for a series conceived by Atkinson on shootings by the District of Columbia police department.
He won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for history for his book The War in North Africa, 1942—1943, which was followed by the second volume in what Atkinson calls his "Liberation trilogy", The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943—1944. While at work on the third volume, he received the $100,000 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing.
Atkinson served as the Omar N. Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership  at the US Army War College and Dickinson College in 2004 and 2005. He was a Fall 2009 Axel Springer Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. He is currently an advisory fellow of the Barsanti Military History Center at the University of North Texas.
Atkinson's book In the Company of Soldiers: A Chronicle of Combat is about the Iraq War. He was embedded with the 101st Airborne Division for two months and had extensive contact with Gen. David Petraeus.