David Remnick

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David Remnick
David Remnick in 2008.jpg
Remnick at a New Yorker conference in 2008
Born (1958-10-29) October 29, 1958 (age 64)
EducationPrinceton University (BA)
Occupation(s)Magazine editor, journalist, writer
TitleEditor of The New Yorker
Esther Fein
(m. 1987)

David J. Remnick (born October 29, 1958) is an American journalist, writer and editor. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for his book Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire, and is also the author of Resurrection and King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero. Remnick has been editor of The New Yorker magazine since 1998. He was named "Editor of the Year" by Advertising Age in 2000. Before joining The New Yorker, Remnick was a reporter and the Moscow correspondent for The Washington Post. He also has served on the New York Public Library board of trustees and is a member of the American Philosophical Society.[1] In 2010, he published his sixth book, The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama.


Remnick was born to a Jewish family[2] in Hackensack, New Jersey, the son of Barbara (Seigel), an art teacher, and Edward C. Remnick, a dentist.[3][4] He was raised in Hillsdale, New Jersey, in a Jewish home with, he has said, "a lot of books around."[5] He attended Yavneh Academy in Paramus.[6] Remnick was also a childhood friend of comedian Bill Maher.[7] He attended Pascack Valley High School in Hillsdale.[8] At Pascack Valley High School he studied Russian and was thereby inspired to also study the politics and culture of the USSR.

He was graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1981 with an A.B. in comparative literature; there he met writer John McPhee, was a member of the University Press Club, and helped found The Nassau Weekly.[9] Remnick completed a 122-page-long senior thesis titled "The Sympathetic Thread: 'Leaves of Grass' 1855-1865."[10] Remnick has implied that after college he wanted to write novels, but due to the illnesses of his parents, he needed to get a job. Wanting to be a writer, he took a job at The Washington Post.[11]


The Washington Post[edit]

Remnick began his reporting career at The Washington Post in 1982 shortly after his graduation from Princeton.[12] His first assignment was to cover the United States Football League.[13] After six years, in 1988 he became the newspaper's Moscow correspondent, which provided him with the material for Lenin's Tomb. He also received the George Polk Award for excellence in journalism in 1993.[14]

The New Yorker[edit]

Remnick became a staff writer at The New Yorker in September 1992, after ten years at The Washington Post.[12]

Remnick's 1997 New Yorker article "Kid Dynamite Blows Up", about boxer Mike Tyson, was nominated for a National Magazine Award.[12] In July 1998, he became editor, succeeding Tina Brown.[15] Remnick promoted Hendrik Hertzberg, a former Jimmy Carter speechwriter and former editor of The New Republic, to write the lead pieces in "Talk of the Town", the magazine's opening section. In 2005, Remnick earned $1 million for his work as the magazine's editor.[16]

In 2003, Remnick penned an editorial in The New Yorker in the lead-up to the Iraq War saying "the United States has been wrong, politically and morally, about Iraq more than once in the past... but... a return to a hollow pursuit of containment will be the most dangerous option of all."[17] In the months leading up to the war, the magazine also published several articles connecting Saddam Hussein to al-Qaida, often relying on unnamed sources, or simply the claims of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, as evidence. The magazine received some criticism for their journalism during this period.[18] The claims that Hussein and al-Qaida had a close operational relationship were false, as confirmed by numerous sources including a U.S military study in 2008.[19]

In 2004, for the first time in its 80-year history, The New Yorker endorsed a presidential candidate, John Kerry.[20]

In May 2009, Remnick was the subject of an extended Twitter thread by former New Yorker staff writer Dan Baum, whose contract with the magazine was not renewed by Remnick. The tweets, written over the course of a week, described the difficult relationship between Baum and Remnick, his editor.[21]

Remnick's biography of President Barack Obama, The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, was released on April 6, 2010. It features hundreds of interviews with friends, colleagues, and other witnesses to Obama's rise to the presidency of the United States.

In 2010, Remnick lent his support to the campaign urging the release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning after being convicted of adultery and ordering the murder of her husband by her lover.[22]

Remnick provided guest commentary and contributed to NBC coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia, including the opening ceremony and commentary for NBC News.[citation needed]

Remnick is also the host of The New Yorker Radio Hour, produced by WNYC and The New Yorker.

In May 2014, Remnick served as the commencement speaker at the 160th commencement of Syracuse University.[23][24]

Personal life[edit]

In 1987, Remnick married reporter Esther Fein in a Jewish ceremony at the Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan.[25] Fein has worked as a reporter for The New York Times and The Washington Post.[25] The couple has three children, Alex, Noah, and Natasha.[5] Remnick is fluent in Russian.[26]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  2. ^ Rosenberg, MJ (May 25, 2011). "Israel: The Ground Shifts". Huffington Post.
  3. ^ Coussin, Orna (February 9, 2006). "How to put a legendary magazine back on its feet". Haaretz.
  4. ^ Brennan, Elizabeth A.; Clarage, Elizabeth C. (1999). "1994: David Reminck", in: Who's who of Pulitzer Prize Winners. Phoenix, Ariz.: Oryx Press. p. 276. Archived April 27, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b Wood, Gaby (September 10, 2006). "The quiet American". The Observer. Retrieved April 10, 2011. "David Remnick was born in 1958 and grew up in Hillsdale, New Jersey, where his father was a dentist and his mother an art teacher."
  6. ^ "Paul McCartney Doesn't Really Want to Stop the Show". The New Yorker. October 8, 2021.
  7. ^ Hagan, Joe. ""It Won't Hurt You. It's Vapor."". Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  8. ^ Sale, Jonathan (October 23, 2011). "Passed/Failed: An education in the life of David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker". The Independent. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  9. ^ "David Remnick selected as Class Day speaker". Princeton University. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  10. ^ Remnick, David J. Princeton University. Department of Comparative Literature (ed.). "The Sympathetic Thread: 'Leaves of Grass' 1855-1865". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ Levy, Nicole. "David Remnick laments the 'cultural serfdom' of young writers on the web". POLITICO Media. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  12. ^ a b c "David Remnick". State University of New York: New York State Writers Institute.
  13. ^ The Tony Kornheiser Show, WTEM, April 13, 2010.
  14. ^ "1993 George Polk Award Winners". LIU. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  15. ^ Harper, Jennifer (July 13, 1998). "New Yorker Magazine Names New Editor". The Washington Times. Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. Archived from the original on October 10, 2017. Retrieved December 22, 2016. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  16. ^ "Salary Guide: Who Makes How Much", New York magazine (2005).
  17. ^ Remnick, David (February 3, 2003). "Making a Case". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 16, 2011.
  18. ^ Lazare, Daniel (May 15, 2003). "The New Yorker goes to war". The Nation. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  19. ^ Schor, Elena (March 13, 2008). "Saddam Hussein had no direct ties to al-Qaida, says Pentagon study". The Guardian. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  20. ^ "New Yorker magazine endorsement of John Kerry". The New Yorker. Retrieved May 9, 2006.
  21. ^ Linkins, Jason (August 5, 2009). "Dan Baum, Fired By New Yorker, Recounting His Story On Twitter". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 22, 2011.
  22. ^ Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani (July 22, 2010). "Iran stoning case woman ordered to name campaigners". The Guardian. London.
  23. ^ "Commencement Speech by New Yorker Editor David Remnick". SU News. May 11, 2014. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  24. ^ Baker, Chris (May 12, 2014). "David Remnick at SU: If commencement isn't the right forum for a socially charged speech, what is?". syracuse.com. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  25. ^ a b "Esther B. Fein Is Wed To David Jay Remnick". The New York Times. October 26, 1987.
  26. ^ Hamill, Pete (May 14, 2006). "A Ringside Seat". The New York Times. Retrieved April 22, 2011.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Editor of The New Yorker
Succeeded by