Christopher Buckley (novelist)

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Christopher Buckley
Christopher Buckley.jpg
Buckley at the LBJ Presidential Library, May 2012
Born Christopher Taylor Buckley
(1952-09-28) September 28, 1952 (age 64)
New York City
Nationality American
Alma mater Yale University[1]
Occupation Author, satirist, novelist
Spouse(s) Lucy Gregg Buckley (divorced)
Katherine Close
Children Caitlin Gregg Buckley, William Conor Buckley, Jonathan Buckley

William F. Buckley Jr.

Patricia Buckley

James L. Buckley (uncle)
L. Brent Bozell, III (cousin)
Patricia Buckley Bozell (aunt)

L. Brent Bozell, Jr. (uncle by marriage)

Christopher Taylor Buckley (born September 28, 1952)[2] is an American political satirist known for writing God Is My Broker, Thank You for Smoking, Little Green Men, The White House Mess, No Way to Treat a First Lady, Wet Work, Florence of Arabia, Boomsday, Supreme Courtship, Losing Mum and Pup: A Memoir and, most recently, The Relic Master: A Novel. He is the son of writer William F. Buckley Jr. and socialite Patricia Buckley.

After a classical education at the Portsmouth Abbey School,[3] Buckley graduated from Yale University in 1975.[4] He was a member of Skull and Bones like his father, living at Jonathan Edwards College.[5]:173 He became managing editor of Esquire.

In 1981, he moved to Washington, D.C., to work as chief speechwriter for Vice President George H. W. Bush. This experience led to his novel The White House Mess, a satire on White House office politics and political memoirs.[6] (The title refers to the White House lunchroom, which is known as the "mess" because the Navy operates it.)

Buckley's Thank You for Smoking is another satire, its protagonist a lobbyist for the tobacco industry, Nick Naylor. He followed that with more humor about Washington in the form of Little Green Men, about the government agency investigating UFO sightings. His No Way To Treat A First Lady has the president's wife on trial for assassinating her husband and Florence of Arabia is about a do-gooding State Department bureaucrat in the Middle East. His one serious novel, Wet Work, is about a billionaire businessman avenging his granddaughter's death from drugs.

Thank You for Smoking was adapted into a movie written and directed by Jason Reitman, and starring Aaron Eckhart. It was released on 17 March 2006.

Buckley also wrote the non-fiction Steaming To Bamboola, about the merchant marine, as well as contributed to an oral history of Milford, Connecticut, and is an editor at Forbes magazine. Buckley has written for many national newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Time, The Atlantic Monthly, Smithsonian, US News & World Report, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Conde Nast Traveler and numerous humorous essays in The New Yorker.[citation needed]

Obama endorsement[edit]

For a brief time in summer and fall 2008, Christopher Buckley also wrote the back-page column for National Review, the conservative magazine founded by his father. This came to an end after Buckley endorsed the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama in October 2008. Buckley's endorsement, entitled "Sorry Dad, I'm Voting for Obama",[7] appeared in The Daily Beast. He chose The Daily Beast to avoid complications with National Review. After many readers and contributors expressed their displeasure, Buckley resigned from National Review.[8][9] Buckley disavowed the title of his article endorsing Obama (which many of his father's friends and supporters found offensive, particularly as it appeared shortly after his death) but continues to occasionally write for The Daily Beast.[10]


An only child, Buckley found his mother easier to talk to than his father because of her attitude toward religion.[11]

He first married Lucy Gregg, daughter of Donald Gregg, who served as assistant to Vice President Bush for national security affairs.[12] They have two children, Caitlin and William (born in 1988 and 1991). He also has a son Jonathan (born 2000), from a relationship with former Random House publicist Irina Woelfle.[13][14] Buckley and Gregg divorced in spring 2011.[citation needed]

In 2012, Buckley married Dr. Katherine "Katy" Close.[15]


Satirical novels[edit]

Films based on novels[edit]

  • Thank You for Smoking (2006) (Directed by Jason Reitman, Screenplay also by Reitman)
  • Little Green Men (In development for 2013) (Screenplay by Sean Bates and Gregory Mackenzie)
  • Boomsday (In development) Screenwriters Ron Bass and Jen Smolka have adapted the novel into a screenplay. Tom Vaughan will direct the film in early 2011 for GreeneStreet Films and Das Films


  • Steaming to Bamboola – The World of a Tramp Freighter (1983)
  • Washington Schlepped Here: Walking in the Nation's Capital (2003)


External video
Booknotes interview with Buckley on Wry Martinis, May 4, 1997, C-SPAN


  1. ^ "Profile: Christopher Buckley", Forum on Law, Culture, and Society, Dir. Thane Rosenbaum
  2. ^ "Christopher Buckley". Christopher Buckley. Retrieved 2015-07-26. 
  3. ^ Goldman, Andrew (September 5, 2008). "Mr. Righ". Elle. Retrieved September 19, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Yale Class Day Speaker: Christopher Buckley", Yale University, Office of Public Affairs and Communications, May 24, 2009
  5. ^ Robbins, Alexandra (2002). Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-72091-7. 
  6. ^ McDowell, Edwin (16 April 1986). "2 Buckleys Become Best Sellers". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 April 2015. The author's insights into the corridors of power were acquired during the year and a half he spent as a speech writer for Vice President Bush, starting in 1981. 
  7. ^ "Sorry, Dad, I'm Voting for Obama". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2009-02-04. 
  8. ^ Chris Matthews, Christopher Buckley (2008-10-14). Hardball (Javascript) (Television). New York City: MSNBC. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  9. ^ Beach, Patrick (October 14, 2008). "A little scoop on Christopher Buckley". The Reader. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  10. ^ "Christopher Buckley". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2009-02-04. 
  11. ^ "Questions for Christopher Buckley: The Right Stuff," Deborah Solomon, The New York Times Magazine, October 23, 2008.
  12. ^ "C. T. Buckley to Marry Lucy S. Gregg". The New York Times. 1984-10-07. 
  13. ^ Argetsinger, Amy; Roberts, Roxanne (2008-10-08). "Chris Buckley's Child-Support Saga Continues". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-10-15. 
  14. ^ Gregorian, Dareh (2008-10-02). "Not One 'Buck'ley for You!". NY Post. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  15. ^ "Historic Wedding". New York Post. 13 October 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 

External links[edit]

Christopher Buckley talks about Losing Mum and Pup on Bookbits radio.