Before working for Vanity Fair, Prochnau was the Washington-bureau chief for The Seattle Times and also served as a national affairs reporter for The Washington Post. He reported from Southeast Asia and Vietnam. He made two tours of Vietnam in 1965 and 1967. Prochnau wrote articles which include the profile of Pat Robertson and a report on the kidnapping of multinational businessmen held for ransom.
Prochnau won an Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellowship in 1988 to research and write about the media as it operated in the Vietnam war and its aftermath.
Prochnau's second marriage was to Laura Parker. Together they wrote articles for Vanity Fair. They resided together in Washington, DC. Laura Parker also covers aviation for The Washington Post and served as a national correspondent for USA Today for ten years.
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