Howard Fineman

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Howard Fineman
Howard Fineman Tampa-20120830-001442 (cropped).jpg
Fineman at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida
Howard David Fineman

(1948-11-17) November 17, 1948 (age 74)
EducationColgate University (A.B.)
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism (M.S.)
University of Louisville School of Law (J.D.)
SpouseAmy L. Nathan
Children2 (Meredith and Nicholas)

Howard David Fineman (born November 17, 1948)[citation needed] is an American journalist. He previously was the global editorial director of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group.[1] Prior to his move to Huffington Post, he was Newsweek's chief political correspondent, senior editor and deputy Washington bureau Chief.

An award-winning writer, Fineman also is an NBC News analyst, contributing reports to the network and its cable affiliate MSNBC. He appeared frequently on Hardball with Chris Matthews, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, and The Rachel Maddow Show. The author of scores of Newsweek cover stories, Fineman's work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The New Republic. His "Living Politics" column was posted weekly on[2] Fineman authored his first book, The Thirteen American Arguments: Enduring Debates That Define and Inspire Our Country, in 2008.

Early life and education[edit]

Fineman was raised in a Jewish family[3] in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh,[4] the son of Jean (née Lederman) and Charles Fineman, both teachers.[5] Fineman attended Colfax Elementary and Taylor Allderdice High School, graduating in 1966.[6] The family belonged to the Tree of Life – Or L'Simcha Congregation, where Fineman celebrated his bar mitzvah.[7] Fineman holds a B.A. from Colgate University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa and a member of Beta Theta Pi, an M.S. in journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a J.D. from the University of Louisville School of Law. His legal education also included a year at the Georgetown University Law Center. He was also a recipient of both the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship for study in Europe, Russia and the Middle East.[8]


He began his journalism career at The Louisville Courier-Journal, covering the environment, the coal industry and state politics before joining the newspaper's Washington bureau in 1978. He moved to Newsweek in 1980, was named Chief Political Correspondent in 1984, Deputy Washington Bureau Chief in 1993 and Senior Editor in 1995. He has become a regular guest on Tony Kornheiser's podcast (The Tony Kornheiser Show) offering political insight to Tony as well as Pittsburgh sports updates. Tony refers to him as "The Intergalactic Editor of the Huffington Post".[9]

In an extended dissection of the operation of pack journalism during the 1988 presidential campaign, author/journalist Richard Ben Cramer identifies a Fineman profile piece in Newsweek as the tipping point at which unattributed rumors and whispered speculation about the private life of Democratic candidate Gary Hart were made public and effectively legitimated. Fineman, Cramer writes, posed to a 1984 Hart campaign aide a series of leading, uncorroborated assertions about Hart's fidelity, finally prompting the aide to say, "Yuh, well, you know ... he'll always be in jeopardy ... if he can't keep his pants on." The aide later complained that the comment was off the record and, in any event, based solely on speculation, but Fineman bootstrapped the quote into publication with the unattributed lead-in "many political observers expect the rumors to emerge as a campaign issue."[10] The subsequent, unprecedented media focus on the personal life of Hart, who to that point was the clear frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, resulted in Hart's decision to drop his candidacy.

Accomplishments and awards[edit]

Fineman has focused in recent years on the rise and times of George W. Bush. A Newsweek cover story in November 2001 featured the president's first extensive post-9/11 interview. Fineman's other awards include a "Page One" from the Headliners Club of New York, a "Silver Gavel" from the American Bar Association, and a "Deadline Club" from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Fineman has written on the rise of the "religious right", the power of talk radio, race and politics, and the Pledge of Allegiance controversy. He has interviewed business leaders such as Bill Gates, Steve Case, and Steve Ballmer. He interviewed GOP operative Lee Atwater, in the documentary Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story.

Fineman on the campaign trail at the CPAC Conference (February, 2012)

Fineman reports for NBC, and has appeared on most major public affairs shows. He was a panelist on PBS's Washington Week in Review from 1983 to 1995, and on CNN's Capital Gang from 1995 to 1998.

Fineman holds honorary degrees from Colgate University,[11] the University of Louisville[12] Washington and Jefferson College,[13] and Gettysburg College[14]


  1. ^ Fineman, Howard. "Huffington Post". Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Howard Fineman". Newsweek. Retrieved 8 July 2008.
  3. ^ Fussin' and fightin'? It's all good, says author/pundit, By Dan Pine, April 18, 2008, j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern
  4. ^ Pitz, Marylynne (22 September 2009). "Khrushchev charmed the city on visit - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  5. ^ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Obituary: Jean Lederman Fineman / Longtime teacher loved reading, discussing politics June 9, 1924 — June 27, 2016" by Lindsay Moore June 28, 2016
  6. ^ Yearbook Picture, 1966 Taylor Allderdice High School, Pittsburgh, PA.
  7. ^ Fineman, Howard (27 October 2018). "Shaking My Faith in America". New York Times. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  8. ^ Howard Fineman bio NNDB. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
  9. ^ "Home".
  10. ^ Cramer, Richard Ben (1992). What it takes : the way to the White House (1st ed.). New York: Random House. pp. 375–393. ISBN 0-394-56260-7. OCLC 24794262.
  11. ^ Howard Fineman '70 is named Colgate's 190th commencement speaker, By Barbara Brooks, April 8, 2011, Colgate University
  12. ^ Firsts and 'finally' mark commencement, May 13, 2013, UofL Today
  13. ^ Howard Fineman to deliver keynote at W&J commencement ceremony May 6, 2015, Washington & Jefferson College
  14. ^ "Archives - Gettysburg College".

External links[edit]