Foer was born in 1974 to a Jewish family. He is the son of Albert Foer, a lawyer, and Esther Safran Foer. He is the elder brother of novelist Jonathan Safran Foer as well as freelance journalist Joshua Foer. He graduated from Columbia University in 1996 and lives in Washington, D.C.
Foer has written for Slate and New York magazine. He served as editor of American magazine The New Republic from 2006 until 2010, when he resigned — by his subsequent account, because of exhaustion over an interminable search for a patron who could save the magazine. He then became editor again in 2012, recruited by new patron Chris Hughes. His book How Soccer Explains the World was published in 2004. The book Jewish Jocks, which he co-edited with New Republic writer Marc Tracy, was published in 2012; Foer has described it as an effort to avoid the "simple hagiography" he found in some of the many existing books about Jewish sports figures.
Foer was editor of The New Republic during the Scott Thomas Beauchamp controversy. His firing in December 2014 by New Republic owner Chris Hughes and his replacement by former Gawker staff member Gabriel Snyder provoked an editorial crisis that culminated in the resignation from the magazine of two-thirds of the people on its masthead.
In 2017 Foer published World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech, which was named a New York Times notable book of 2017. Using Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Apple as case studies, World Without Mind argues for a closer examination for the role of technology in our lives, particularly the ways it is shaping the values of individuals globally.
- Chotiner, Isaac (2017-06-27). "Can This Donkey Be Saved?" Slate.com. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
- Bosman, Julie; Haughney, Christine. "Franklin Foer – The New Republic". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-05-29.
- Erin Bried (2012). How to Rock Your Baby: And Other Timeless Tips for Modern Moms. Hachette Books. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-4013-0409-6.
- Jewish Journal: "What will New Republic exodus mean for American Jewish thought?" by Anthony Weiss December 9, 2014
- Berman, Daphna (May–June 2011). "What Does It Mean To Be Jewish Today? What Do Jews Bring To The World?". Moment.
I didn't crack open the Talmud until after my bar mitzvah, but my father suggested that we study together.
- Kolhatkar, Sheelah (2006-12-18). "The Foer Family". The New York Observer. Retrieved 2014-10-07.
- "Slate magazine". Slate magazine. Retrieved 2008-12-03.
- "Archives Franklin Foer". New York magazine. Retrieved 2008-12-03.
- Foer, Franklin. "When Silicon Valley Took Over the 'New Republic'". The Atlantic (September 2017). Retrieved 25 March 2018.
- "The New Republic masthead". The New Republic. Archived from the original on 2008-07-18. Retrieved 2008-11-15.
- Bures, Frank (2004-07-07). "Soccerworld". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2008-12-08.
- "'Unorthodox' Book Of 'Jewish Jocks' Puts Stereotypes Aside", Morning Edition, NPR, November 23, 2012 (radio transcript).
- Steven Zeitchik, "In search of 'Jewish Jocks': Editors Franklin Foer and Marc Tracy wanted to memorialize Jewish athletes, their accomplishments and, in some cases, their egos and foibles." Los Angeles Times, November 16, 2012.
- Daniel Plotz, "Who’s the Greatest Jewish Athlete? An interview with Franklin Foer about Jewish jocks, and how they changed sports history." Slate, October 23, 2012.
- Cohen, Patricia (2007-07-28). "Shedding Pen Name, Private Says He's 'Baghdad Diarist'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
- Jonathan Mahler and Ravi Somaiya."Revolt at the New New Republic. New York Times," December 7, 2014.
- World Without Mind by Franklin Foer | PenguinRandomHouse.com.