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17 August 1947 |
Professor of Journalism
Early life and history 
Nasar was born in Rosenheim, Germany, to a Bavarian mother and an Uzbek father, Rusi Nasar, who later joined the CIA as an intelligence officer. Her family immigrated to the United States in 1951, then moved to Ankara, Turkey in 1960. She graduated with a BA in Literature from Antioch College in 1970 and earned a Master's degree in Economics at New York University in 1976. For four years, she did research with Nobel Laureate Wassily Leontief. She joined Fortune magazine as a staff writer in 1983, became an columnist for U.S. News & World Report in 1990, and was an economic correspondent for the New York Times from 1991 to 1999. She has been the first John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Business Journalism at Columbia University since 2001.
In March 2013, Nasar filed a lawsuit accusing the university of misdirecting $4.5 million in funds over the last decade from the same Knight endowment which pays her salary. The New York Times reported, "In her suit, Ms. Nasar said that after she complained about the misspent funds, [a Columbia University official] “intimidated and harassed” her by telling her that the Knight Foundation “was dissatisfied with her performance as Knight chair because Knight objected to her work on books.”
A Beautiful Mind 
In 1998, Nasar published A Beautiful Mind, a biography of Nobel Prize-winning economist and mathematician John Forbes Nash, Jr.. The book describes many aspects of Nash's life, examines his personality and motivations, and deals with the stresses placed on his personal and professional relationships by severe mental illness. The book won the 1998 National Book Critics Circle Award for biography.
Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius 
Nasar's second book, Grand Pursuit, was published in 2011. It is a historical narrative which sets forth Nasar's view that economics rescued mankind from squalor and deprivation by placing its material circumstances in its own hands rather than in Fate. It won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Science and technology.
Manifold Destiny 
In the 28 August 2006 The New Yorker, Nasar's article "Manifold Destiny" contained the only interview with Grigori Perelman, who solved the Poincaré conjecture, but rejected the 2006 Fields Medal, and examined Fields Medalist S.T. Yau's response to Perelman's proof. Some mathematicians wrote letters in defense of Yau over Nasar's portrayal and Yau threatened to file a lawsuit, but no suit was filed.
Awards and honors 
- 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize (Science and technology), Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius
- 1999 Rhône-Poulenc Prize, nominated, A Beautiful Mind
- 1998 National Book Critics Circle Award for biography, A Beautiful Mind
- 1998 Pulitzer Prize for biography, nominated, A Beautiful Mind
- A Beautiful Mind: A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr., Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, Simon & Schuster, 1994. ISBN 0-684-81906-6
- Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius, Simon & Schuster, Sept. 13, 2011. ISBN 978-0-684-87298-8
- HAUGHNEY, CHRISTINE (19 March 2013). "Journalism Professor Sues Columbia, Claiming Misuse of Endowment Funds". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- Nasar, Sylvia (1998). A Beautiful Mind. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. p. 442. ISBN 9781451628425.
- "A Beautiful Mind (review)". Retrieved 2011-10-24.
- Prizes for Science Books previous winners and shortlists, The Royal Society website
- Two Centuries of Economic History in Four Minutes
- Sylvia Nasar Official Website
- Sylvia Nasar-By the Book
- Biography by Royce Carlton Inc.
- Lecture by Nasar
- Columbia University Faculty Page
- "Manifold Destiny" by Sylvia Nasar & David Gruber, The New Yorker
- Sylvia Nasar at the Internet Movie Database
- A film clip "The Open Mind - "A Beautiful Mind" by Sylvia Nasar (September 27, 2007)" is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]