Eric Breindel

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Eric Marc[1][2] Breindel[3] (1955–1998) was an American neoconservative writer and former editorial page editor of the New York Post.[4]

Early life[edit]

Breindel grew up in an upper-middle class Jewish family in New York. His parents were refugees of Hitler's Europe, which likely influenced his views on totalitarian government and fueled his support of Zionism and outspoken hatred of communism.[5]

He attended Phillips Exeter, Harvard College, and Harvard Law School. At Harvard, he developed relationships with high-profile professors as well as David and Bobby Kennedy.[4]


Early in his career, Breindel pursued work in government, as his classmates at Harvard had expected him to. At the age of 27, he went to work as Senator Moynihan's aide on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Shortly into the job, however, he was arrested for buying heroin from an undercover police officer in Washington, D.C., ending any hope of a career in government or politics.

While he was still serving out his year's probation, he wrote for The New Republic and then took a research position on the PBS show American Interests. During this time, he started a relationship with Tamar Jacoby, the deputy editor of The New York Times' op-ed section. With her help and several recommendations, including one from Norman Podhoretz, he landed a job heading the editorial page of the New York Daily News.

Breindel contributed articles to such publications as Commentary, National Review, The New Republic, The Weekly Standard, The American Enterprise, and The American Spectator.

He began working at the Post's editorial page in 1986,[3] where he immediately began making friends and enemies. He played a pivotal role in New York's 1993 mayoral race. He was the key to securing Rudy Giuliani's endorsement by the New York Post, despite Rupert Murdoch's initial intent to support the Conservative Party candidate George Marlin. The endorsement and subsequent editorials proved crucial in a race which came down to a handful of votes.

Breindel criticized Patrick J. Buchanan's anti-Israel statements and "for doubting the authenticity of some elements of the Holocaust," [6] branding Buchanan an anti-Semite.[3]

During the last year of his life, Breindel worked as a senior vice president of News Corporation and the host of Fox News Watch on the Fox News Channel. He also continued writing his weekly column at the Post.


Michael Wolff in his book The Man Who Owns The News: Inside The Secret World Of Rupert Murdoch, claims Breindel, who died of liver failure, having suffered from health problems throughout adulthood, had AIDS, though he provides no sources to confirm this.[7][8]

Breindel died at the age of 42. His funeral featured eulogies by such notable figures as New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, Governor George Pataki, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Senator Al D'Amato, Rupert Murdoch, Henry Kissinger, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Norman Podhoretz, Andrew Cuomo, former New York City mayor Ed Koch and Martin Peretz.[9][8]


The Eric Breindel Foundation[10][11] carries his name.

In 1988, Spy magazine ran a feature that depicted Breindel as a ruthlessly career-driven opportunist whose career was effectively ended by his drug bust.[12] The article was met with criticism from its readers.[13] [[Spy (magazine)|[14][15]

In 1999, the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism was established in his memory, sponsored by Fox News, the New York Post and The Wall Street Journal.[4]

Breindel was co-author of a book on the Venona project, which was published after his death.[16]


He was survived by his parents, both Holocaust survivors, and his sister.[3]



  • The Venona Secrets: Exposing Soviet Espionage and America's Traitors, with Herbert Romerstein. Washington, D.C.: Regnery (2001). ISBN 978-0895262257.



  1. ^ "Catalog of Members: Phi Beta Kappa, Harvard" (PDF). Eric Marc Breindel
  2. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths BREINDEL, ERIC MARC". The New York Times. March 9, 1998.
  3. ^ a b c d Charlie Leduff (March 8, 1998). "Eric Breindel, 42, Commentator and New York Post Columnist". The New York Times.
  4. ^ a b c Horowitz, Craig. "The Connection Man".New York Magazine, March 22, 1999. Archived from the original. Accessed July 21, 2011.
  5. ^ Tobin, Jonathan S. "A Powerful Voice is Silenced: Remembering Eric Breindel"(obituary). Jewish World Review, March 11, 1998. Archived from the original.
  6. ^ Randall Rothenberg (September 20, 1990). "Newspaper Faults Columnist for Remarks on Jews". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Wolff, Michael. The Man Who Owns The News: Inside The Secret World Of Rupert Murdoch. New York: Broadway Books, 2008. pp. 276-277. ISBN 1847920233. OCLC 229027478.
  8. ^ a b Weiss, Philip. "Neocon saint Eric Breindel died of AIDS, reports Michael Wolff".Mondoweiss, February 9, 2009. Archived from the original. Accessed April 6, 2012.
  9. ^ Buckley, William F. (Jr). "Eric Breindel, RIP" (obituary). National Review, Vol. 50, No. 6, April 1998, pp. 18, 20.
  10. ^ Sam Roberts (June 21, 2018). "Charles Krauthammer, Prominent Conservative Voice, Dies at 68". The New York Times.
  11. ^ "Columnist Charen Wins Eric Breindel Award". Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
  12. ^ Handy, Bruce. "When Bad Things Happen to Ambitious People." Spy, June 1988, p. 48-64. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  13. ^ Kempton, Murray. "Letter to the Editor".
  14. ^ Berryman, Jerry. "Letter to the Editor".Spy, October 1988, p. 34.
  15. ^ Collins, James. "Letter to the Editor". Spy, November 1988, pp. 26, 29, 31.
  16. ^ Romerstein, Herbert; Breindel, Eric. The Venona Secrets: Exposing Soviet Espionage and America's Traitors. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0895262754 / ISBN 978-0895262752. OCLC 185588861.

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