Charles M. Blow

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Charles M. Blow
Blow in 2014
Charles McRay Blow

(1970-08-11) August 11, 1970 (age 53)
EducationGrambling State University (BA)
Occupation(s)Journalist, columnist, writer
Employer(s)The New York Times

Charles McRay Blow (born August 11, 1970) is an American journalist, commentator and op-ed columnist for The New York Times and political analyst for MSNBC.

Early life[edit]

Blow was born and raised in Gibsland, Louisiana.[1][2] He was educated at Gibsland–Coleman High School in his hometown, where he founded the school newspaper, and graduated as valedictorian in 1988.[3]

Blow graduated magna cum laude from Grambling State University, with a bachelor's degree in mass communication.[4]


As a student, Blow interned at the Shreveport Times, News Journal, and The New York Times, edited the student newspaper, the Gramblinite, and founded the now-defunct student magazine, Razz. He also served as president of Grambling State's chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.[5][6]

After graduation, he joined The Detroit News as a graphics artist.

Blow joined The New York Times in 1994 as a graphics editor. Eventually, he became the head of the newspaper's graphics department. In 2006, he left to become the art director of National Geographic.[7][8]

In April 2008, he began writing a column in The New York Times. His column had originally appeared biweekly on Saturdays. In May 2009, it became a weekly feature and appeared twice, weekly, in December 2012. As of May 2021, it appears every Monday and Thursday.[4]

Blow would appear frequently on CNN and MSNBC during this period.

On February 22, 2012, Blow referred to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's "magic underwear", an apparent reference to the Temple Garment, in response to a comment by Romney about two-parent households.[9][10] The comment was criticized as insensitive to Mormons. In response, Romney joked that "I guess we’re finding out for the first time that the media is somewhat biased."[10] Blow later apologized.[10]

Blow speaking at the University of Texas at Austin in 2017

In 2014, Blow published the book-length memoir entitled Fire Shut Up In My Bones.[11]

In August 2016, while appearing on CNN with Bruce Levell, a delegate for Donald Trump's presidential campaign, Blow called Trump a "bigot" and said that anyone who supported Trump is "a part of the bigotry itself."[12][13]

In response to the 2020 Central Park birdwatching incident, Blow wrote an op-ed in which he said, "Specifically, I am enraged by White women weaponizing racial anxiety, using their White femininity to activate systems of White terror against Black men. This has long been a power White women realized they had and that they exerted."[14]

In 2021, Blow published The Devil You Know: A Black Manifesto in which he advocates people of color taking direct action by moving to states where they can build a political majority.[15]

In April 2021, Blow began hosting Prime with Charles M. Blow, a primetime show on the Black News Channel.[16] It ran until March 2022 when the channel shut down all produced programming.[17] On March 29, 2022, he joined MSNBC as a political analyst.[18]

In June, 2019, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis presented the first performance of an opera adaptation of Blow's memoir Fire Shut Up in My Bones, with music by Grammy Award-winning jazz musician and composer Terence Blanchard. In September 2021, the Metropolitan Opera in New York City opened its 2021–2022 season with that work. This was the Met's first performance of an opera by a Black composer.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Blow's primary residence is in Atlanta and his secondary residence is in the New York City borough of Brooklyn where he raised his children.[20][21][22][4] His eldest son, Tahj, graduated from Yale University[23] and his twins, Ian and Iman, graduated from Middlebury College and Columbia University respectively.[24][25]

In 2014, Blow came out publicly as bisexual.[26][27] He is divorced.[28]

In his autobiography, Fire Shut Up In My Bones, Blow revealed that he was sexually abused as a child by an older cousin.[27]


  1. ^ "Charles M. Blow". Media Makers. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  2. ^ Lamb, Brian (March 15, 2011). "Q & A: interview transcript Charles M. Blow". C-SPAN. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  3. ^ Washington, K.C. (May 16, 2020). "Charles Blow (1970-)". Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "Tiger happenings" (PDF). Grambling University. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  5. ^ "Charles M. Blow's Biography". The HistoryMakers. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  6. ^ Washington, K. C. (May 16, 2020). "Charles Blow (1970- )".
  7. ^ Blow, Charles M. (September 8, 2019). "Opinion | Maps Don't Lie". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  8. ^ "Charles M. Blow - The New York Times". Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  9. ^ Coscarelli, Joe (February 24, 2012). "Charles Blow Is Sorry for Mentioning Mitt Romney's 'Magic Underwear'". New York. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c "Times Columnist Apologizes For Mormon Jab [UPDATED]". BuzzFeed News. February 23, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  11. ^ Snyder, Stephen (September 23, 2014). "Charles Blow: "Up From Pain," Sex Abuse, and Bisexuality". Psychology Today. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  12. ^ Oh, Inae (August 23, 2016). ""Donald Trump Is a Bigot. There's No Other Way to Get Around It."". Mother Jones. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  13. ^ DeVega, Chauncey (August 24, 2016). ""You're supporting a bigot. That makes you part of the bigotry." Charles Blow's master class in cutting through Trump hackery". Salon. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  14. ^ Blow, Charles M. (May 28, 2020). "Opinion | How White Women Use Themselves as Instruments of Terror". The New York Times.
  15. ^ Firing Line - Charles Blow interview,, March 5, 2021. Retrieved March 6, 2021
  16. ^ Weprin, Alex (March 31, 2021). "Black News Channel Preps Primetime Reboot (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  17. ^ Battaglio, Stephen (March 25, 2022). "Shad Khan's Black News Channel is shutting down". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
  18. ^ "Charles Blow: The Supreme Court is not equipped to police itself". MSNBC. March 29, 2022. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
  19. ^ Tommasini, Anthony (September 28, 2021). "Review: 'Fire' Brings a Black Composer to the Met, Finally". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 28, 2021.
  20. ^ Blow, Charles M. [@CharlesMBlow] (January 1, 2020). "Waited to the new year to share this: I'm moving to Atlanta. I'll keep my place in Brooklyn and come back often because my kids are in NY and I have some biz here, but ATL will be my primary residence. None of my employment will change. Move also related to my forthcoming book" (Tweet). Archived from the original on January 30, 2020. Retrieved February 1, 2021 – via Twitter.
  22. ^ Lamb, Brian (March 15, 2011). "Q & A: interview transcript Charles M. Blow". C-SPAN. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  23. ^ Blow, Charles M. (January 26, 2015). "At Yale, the Police Detained My Son". The New York Times. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  24. ^ Blow, Charles M. [@CharlesMBlow] (December 8, 2017). "My kids: Tahj = Graduated from Yale. Evolutionary bio major. On his way to medical school. Iman = 3rd year at Columbia. Deans list. Pre-med. National/international fencing star. Ian Ahmad = 3rd year at Middlebury. Studying computer science. GTFOH" (Tweet). Archived from the original on December 9, 2017. Retrieved February 1, 2021 – via Twitter.
  25. ^ "Fencing Champion Graduates with a Degree in Biology". Columbia News.
  26. ^ "NY Times' Charles M. Blow Writes on Being Bisexual in New Book". September 3, 2014. Archived from the original on October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  27. ^ a b "New York Times Columnist Charles Blow On Revealing He's Bisexual In His New Book". The Huffington Post. September 26, 2014.
  28. ^ Blow, Charles M. (May 23, 2021). "White Troopers Policing Black Bodies". The New York Times.

External links[edit]