Ronald Kessler in 2005.
|Born||1943 (age 69–70)
New York, New York, USA
|Period||1964 - present|
|Subjects||Intelligence, current affairs|
Personal life 
Kessler was born in New York City in 1943. He grew up in Belmont, Massachusetts, and attended Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, from 1962 to 1964, before embarking on a career in journalism. He is married and has two children.
Early career 
Kessler began his career in 1964 as a reporter with the Worcester Telegram, followed by three years as an investigative reporter and editorial writer with the Boston Herald. A series he wrote while there was instrumental in the installation of a better plaque commemorating the location of Boston's Pre-Revolutionary-War Liberty Tree. In 1968, he joined the Wall Street Journal as a reporter in the New York bureau. During these years, his reporting won awards from the American Political Science Association (public affairs reporting award, 1965), United Press International (1967) and the Associated Press (Sevellon Brown Memorial award, 1967).
Washington Post 
In 1970 Kessler joined the Washington Post as an investigative reporter and continued as a staff writer until 1985. In 1972, he won a George Polk Memorial award for Community Service because of two series of articles he wrote—one on conflicts of interest and mismanagement at Washington area non-profit hospitals, and a second series exposing kickbacks among lawyers, title insurance companies, realtors, and lenders in connection with real estate settlements, inflating the cost of buying homes. He was also named a Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine that year. In 1979, Kessler won a second Polk Award, this one for National Reporting for a series of articles exposing corruption in the General Services Administration; he won even though his editor, Ben Bradlee, had not submitted his stories for consideration. Kessler's Washington Post stories reporting that Lena Ferguson had been denied membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) because she is black led to her acceptance by the DAR and widespread changes in its policies to increase membership by blacks.
Since leaving the Washington Post, Kessler has authored 19 nonfiction books on intelligence and current affairs. Five of his books reached the hardcover nonfiction New York Times Best Seller list: The Secrets of the FBI (2011), In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes With Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect (2009), described by USA Today as "the inside scoop on those stern-faced guys who protect the president," Laura Bush (2006), a biography of the first lady; A Matter of Character (2004), an admiring look at George W. Bush's presidency; and Inside the White House (1995), a behind-the-scenes expose of presidencies from Lyndon B. Johnson to Bill Clinton.."
A sixth book, The Season: Inside Palm Beach and America's Richest Society (1999), an investigative report on the lives of multi-billionaires in Palm Beach, Florida, made the New York Times bestseller list for business books.
Kessler’s book, The FBI: Inside the World’s Most Powerful Law Enforcement Agency, led to the dismissal of William S. Sessions as FBI director over his abuses. In his book The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI, Kessler presented the first credible evidence that Bob Woodward’s and Carl Bernstein’s Watergate source dubbed Deep Throat was FBI official W. Mark Felt. The book said that Woodward paid a secret visit to Felt in California and had his limousine park ten blocks away from Felt’s home so as not to attract attention. Jon Stewart of The Daily Show said Kessler's The Terrorist Watch: Inside the Desperate Race to Stop the Next Attack is a "very interesting look inside the FBI and CIA, which I think is unprecedented."  The Washington Times said of the book, "Ronald Kessler is a veteran Washington-based investigative journalist on national security. His unparalleled access to top players in America's counterterrorism campaign allowed him a rare glimpse into their tradecraft, making The Terrorist Watch a riveting account." 
Kessler's book, In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes With Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect, was described by USA Today as a "fascinating exposé... high-energy read... amusing, saucy, often disturbing anecdotes about the VIPs the Secret Service has protected and still protects... [accounts come] directly from current and retired agents (most identified by name, to Kessler's credit)... Balancing the sordid tales are the kinder stories of presidential humanity... [Kessler is a] respected journalist and former Washington Post reporter... an insightful and entertaining story." Newsweek said of the book, "Kessler’s such a skilled storyteller, you almost forget this is dead-serious nonfiction... An afterword reveals new details about Kessler’s discovery of a third uninvited intruder during last year’s White House State Dinner... The behind-the-scenes anecdotes are delightful, but Kessler has a bigger point to make, one concerning why the under-appreciated Secret Service deserves better leadership."
On April 14, 2012, Kessler broke the story that the Secret Service had removed and sent home agents assigned to protect President Obama during his trip to Cartagena, Colombia, because they had been involved in hiring prostitutes there.
Kessler's latest book, The Secrets of the FBI, was published August 2, 2011. The book presents revelations about the Russian spy swap, Marilyn Monroe's death, Vince Foster’s suicide, the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound, and J. Edgar Hoover’s sexual orientation. For the first time, it tells how the FBI caught spy Robert Hanssen in its midst and how secret teams of FBI agents break into homes, offices, and embassies to plant bugging devices without getting caught and shot as burglars.
On November 9, 2012, Kessler broke the story that an FBI investigation led to the resignation of David H. Petraeus as CIA director. The concern was that Petraeus had put himself in a compromised position, opening himself to potential blackmail by foreign intelligence services. Kessler's subsequent story on Nov. 11 said an FBI source had told him on Oct. 10 that agents on the case were outraged because they were told by senior officials that the FBI was going to hold their findings in limbo until after the election, when Petraeus would be told to resign. The day after the election, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of National Intelligence, told the CIA director to resign.
In June 2006, Kessler became chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax, a conservative website and magazine. Until he left the position in December 2012, he wrote the Washington Insider column for the publication, and his stories for Newsmax included interviews with President Bush, Donald Trump, Sam Donaldson, Andy Card, CIA Director Michael Hayden, Mitt Romney, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Vice President Dick Cheney, Jim Cramer, Deborah Norville, Dana Perino, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, Brian Lamb, Juan Williams, Edwin Meese III, Condoleezza Rice, and Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan. For his Newsmax columns, Kessler won the first Robert Novak Journalist of the Year Award in 2010. Kessler also writes Wall Street Journal op-eds, including "The Real Joe McCarthy," which attacked efforts by some conservative writers to vindicate the late Senator Joseph McCarthy.
On January 4, 2010, Kessler wrote a Newsmax article revealing that the Secret Service allowed a third uninvited guest to attend President Obama’s state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh besides party crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi on Nov. 24, 2009. The Secret Service confirmed the third intrusion "following a report by Ronald Kessler, a journalist who writes for Newsmax.com", the Washington Post said. "Kessler reported that the agency discovered the third crasher after examining surveillance video of arriving guests and found one tuxedoed man who did not match any name on the guest list."
In an article for Newsmax, on March 16, 2008, Kessler incorrectly reported, based on a previous Newsmax story by a freelance writer, that Senator Barack Obama attended a service at Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ on July 22, 2007, during which Rev. Jeremiah Wright gave a sermon that blamed world suffering on "white arrogance". The Obama campaign denied that Obama had attended the church on the day that sermon was delivered and other reporters discovered that Obama was in fact in transit to Miami, Florida on that day. Newsmax posted a clarification while standing by the story, suggesting that perhaps the sermon occurred on a different day in July. Shortly after the controversy broke, Kessler confirmed to TPM that he attempted to remove information documenting it from his Wikipedia biography.
In December 2008, Kessler wrote a column debunking claims that Obama was not born in the U.S. He also wrote an article reporting that intelligence officials are impressed by how Obama takes intelligence briefings.
After National Public Radio (NPR) fired Juan Williams as a news analyst, Kessler wrote "The Juan Williams I Know". After the killing of Osama bin Laden, Kessler wrote "More Warnings of al-Qaida Terror Plots Coming".
- The Life Insurance Game. Henry Holt & Co. 1985. ISBN 978-0-03-070507-6.
- The Richest Man in the World: The Story of Adnan Khashoggi. Warner Books. 1988. ISBN 978-0-446-35229-1.
- Spy vs. Spy: Stalking Soviet Spies in America. Pocket. 1989. ISBN 978-0-671-67967-5.
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- The Spy in the Russian Club: How Glenn Souther Stole America’s Nuclear War Plans and Escaped to Moscow. Pocket. 1992. ISBN 978-0-671-73890-7.
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- In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes With Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect. Crown. 2009. ISBN 978-0-307-46135-3.
- The Secrets of the FBI. Crown. 2011. ISBN 978-0-307-71969-0.
- "Ronald Kessler". Marquis Who's Who in America, 2007. Marquis Who's Who Inc. 2006. ISBN 0-8379-7006-7
- "Ronald Kessler Biography". NewsMax. Archived from the original on December 24, 2007. Retrieved March 22, 2008.
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- "FBI secret ops help prevent new 9/11: Author". CBS News. August 2, 2011. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
- Kessler, Ronald (November 9, 2012). "FBI Investigation Led to Petraeus Resignation". Newsmax. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
- Kessler, Ronald (November 13, 2012). "FBI Suppressed Petraeus Scanndal to Protect President". Newsmax. Retrieved November 14, 2012.
- "Ronald Kessler Joins Newsmax". Newsmax. June 6, 2006. Retrieved March 22, 2008.
- "Washington Insider with Ronald Kessler Archive". NewsMax. Retrieved March 22, 2008.
- "Newsmax's Kessler Wins Top CPAC Journalist Award". Newsmax. February 20, 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
- Kessler, Ronald (April 22, 2008). "The Real Joe McCarthy". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 25, 2008.
- Kessler, Ronald (January 4, 2010). "Secret Service Let Third Intruder Into White House". Newsmax. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
- Roberts, Roxanne; Argetsinger, Amy (January 4, 2010). "Secret Services confirms report of 'third crasher' at White House state dinner". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
- Kessler, Ronald (March 16, 2008). "Obama Attended Hate America Sermon". Newsmax. Archived from the original on March 24, 2008. Retrieved March 17, 2008.
- "Schedule Puts Obama in Miami During July '07 Wright Sermon". Fox News. March 17, 2008. Archived from the original on March 18, 2008. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
- Sargent, Greg (March 17, 2008). "Newsmax's Kessler Scrubs Reference To His Obama Factual Blunder From His Wiki Page". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved March 18, 2008.
- Kessler, Ronald (December 8, 2008), "Obama Was Born in the United States", Newsmax
- Kessler, Ronald (December 11, 2008), "Obama is Quick Study in Intelligence Briefings", Newsmax
- Kessler, Ronald (October 25, 2010). "The Juan Williams I Know". Newsmax.
- Kessler, Ronald (May 8, 2011). "Intelligence Officials: More Warnings of al-Qaida Terror Plots Coming". Newsmax.
- Kessler's personal website
- The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on In the President's Secret Service
- The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on The Terrorist Watch
- Booknotes interview with Kessler on The FBI: Inside the World's Most Powerful Law Enforcement Agency, September 12, 1993.