Jack Hitt

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Jack Hitt is an American author. He is a contributing editor to The New York Times Magazine, Harper's, and This American Life and has also written for the now-defunct magazine Lingua Franca. He frequently appears in places like Rolling Stone, Wired, and Outside Magazine. In 1990, he received the Livingston Award for national coverage.[1][2] More recently, a piece on the anthropology of white Indians was selected for "Best American Science Writing," and another piece about dying languages appeared in "Best American Travel Writing." Another piece on the existential life of a superfund site was included in 2007 in Ira Glass's “The New Kings of Nonfiction."


Hitt was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, where he attended the Porter-Gaud School. He got his start in journalism as editor of the "Paper Clip," the literary magazine of Porter-Gaud's first through fifth grades. According to his biography, he published "some of the finest haiku penned by well-off pre-teens in all of South Carolina's lowcountry".

Since 1996, Hitt has also been a contributing editor to This American Life. He contributed a story about a production of Peter Pan in an episode entitled "Fiasco". Other pieces include "Dawn", about his life growing up with Dawn Langley Simmons (an early recipient of sex reassignment surgery), an hour-long program on a group of prisoners in a maximum security prison putting on a production of Hamlet (“Act V”, #218), a segment on voter fraud in the 2008 American Presidential election ("Cold-cock The Vote.", #276), another episode about his life in a New York apartment building in which his superintendent turned out to be the head of a death squad in Brazil (“The Super”, #323) and more recently a segment on the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay called "Habeas Schmabeas" (#331) This last program earned him the Peabody Award in 2007.

Since 2007, Hitt has been one of two regular US correspondents on Nine to Noon, hosted by Kathryn Ryan on Radio New Zealand National. Jack is currently performing in a one man show he wrote called "Making Up The Truth" about his childhood and the outlandish characters he's met in his life.[3]

Was also a consultant in the movie "Hackers" (1995) regarding techniques of cyber crime of that day and age.

He is married to the physician and writer Lisa Sanders.[4]


  • Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character (2012) ISBN 0-307-39375-5
  • Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim’s Route into Spain (1994)
  • In a Word: A Dictionary of Words That Don't Exist, But Ought To (1992) ISBN 0-440-50358-2
  • The Harper’s Forum Book (editor, 1991)
  • Perfect Murder: Five Great Mystery Writers Create the Perfect Crime (editor, 1991)


  1. ^ "Livingston Awards – Past Winners". Livingston Awards. Retrieved March 3, 2011. 
  2. ^ Zernike (June 7, 1991). "Winners Are Selected For Livingston Awards". The New York Times. Retrieved March 3, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Making Up The Truth". 
  4. ^ Max, Jill (Spring 2008). "A doctor's passion for medical storytelling". Yale Medicine 42 (3). Retrieved February 27, 2013. 

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