May 20, 1952 |
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Walter Isaacson (born May 20, 1952) is a writer and biographer. He is the President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. He has been the Chairman and CEO of CNN and the Managing Editor of Time. He has written biographies of Henry Kissinger, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs.
Early life 
Walter Isaacson was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. After graduating from New Orleans' Isidore Newman School and a summer at Deep Springs College as a participant in the Telluride Association Summer Program (TASP), Isaacson attended Harvard College and earned a B. A. in 1974 in history and literature. While at Harvard, Isaacson was president of the Signet Society, a member of the Harvard Lampoon and a resident of Lowell House. He then attended the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar at Pembroke College and read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE).
Walter Isaacson began his career in journalism at The Sunday Times of London and then the New Orleans Times-Picayune/States-Item. He joined TIME in 1978 and served as a political correspondent, national editor, and editor of new media before becoming the magazine's fourteenth editor in 1996. He became Chairman and CEO of CNN in 2001, and then president and CEO of the Aspen Institute in 2003.
He is the author of American Sketches (2009), Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003) and Kissinger: A Biography (1992), and he is the co-author, with Evan Thomas, of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986). He is the editor of Profiles in Leadership: Historians on the Elusive Quality of Greatness (2010, W. W. Norton).
On October 24, 2011, Isaacson's authorized biography of Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs was published by Simon & Schuster. It became an international best-seller, breaking all records for sales of a biography. The book was based on over forty interviews with Jobs over a two-year period right up until shortly before his death. Isaacson also drew on conversations with friends, family members, and business rivals of the entrepreneur whose vision revolutionized computing, music, phones, animated films, and publishing.
He is the chairman emeritus of the board of Teach for America. He is on the boards of United Airlines, Tulane University, Overseers of Harvard University, the Bloomberg Family Foundation, and the Society of American Historians. In 2012, he was selected as one of the Time 100, the magazine's list of the most influential people in the world.
Government service 
In October 2005, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco appointed Isaacson vice chairman of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, a board that oversaw spending on the recovery from Hurricane Katrina. In December 2007, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the chairman of the U.S.-Palestinian Partnership, which seeks to create economic and educational opportunities in the Palestinian territories. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appointed him vice-chair of the Partners for a New Beginning, which encourages private-sector investments and partnerships in the Muslim world. He also serves as the cochair of the U.S.-Vietnamese Dialogue on Agent Orange, which in January 2008 announced completion of a project to contain the dioxin left behind by the U.S. at the Da Nang air base and plans to build health centers and a dioxin laboratory in the affected regions. In 2009, he was appointed by President Obama to be Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which runs Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and the other international broadcasts of the U.S. government. He served until January 2012.
- Steve Jobs (2011)
- American Sketches (2009)
- Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007)
- Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003)
- Kissinger: A Biography (1992)
- The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986) – co-authored with Evan Thomas
See also 
- "Steve Jobs biography: Release date moves up, skyrockets to No. 1", Los Angeles Times, October 6, 2011.
- "Jobs Is Said to Assist With Book on His Life", New York Times, February 15, 2010.
- "Steve Jobs authorized biography coming in 2012", HILLEL ITALIE, Associated Press National Writer, April 10, 2011.
- "New Jobs Bio Cover Is All Apple With Pub Date of November" AllThingsD, August 15, 2011.
- "The 100 Most Influential People in the World". Time Magazine. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
- President Bush Meets with U.S.-Palestinian Public-Private Partnership, White House press release
- http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2010/04/140968.htm Secretary Clinton's Remarks at the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship, April 27, 2010.
- U.S. and Vietnam Take Steps to Control Agent Orange Contamination, Associated Press, February 1, 2008
- President Obama announces new appointments
- List of recent articles by Walter Isaacson
- List of recent articles about Walter Isaacson
- Profile of Walter Isaacson, The New Orleans Times-Picayune
- Harvard Business Review on the "Real Lessons of Steve Jobs"
- An interview with Walter Isaacson about his book "Einstein: His Life and Universe"
- The Scale of Einstein, From Faith to Formulas, by Janet Maslin, The New York Times, April 9, 2007.
- Walter Isaacson's writer biog at Curtis Brown Literary Agency.
- Isaacson 1986 TV interview on The Wise Men.
- Booknotes interview with Isaacson on Kissinger: A Biography, September 27, 1992.