Joseph Lelyveld

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Joseph Lelyveld (born April 5, 1937) is an American journalist. He was executive editor of the New York Times from 1994 to 2001, and interim executive editor in 2003 after the resignation of Howell Raines.[1] He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, and a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books.

In all, Lelyveld worked at the Times for nearly 40 years, beginning in 1962. He graduated from Harvard College in 1958, received a master's degree from the Columbia School of Journalism in 1960, and subsequently a Fulbright Scholarship.[1][2] At the Times, he went from copy editor to foreign correspondent within three years.

Among Lelyveld's books is Move Your Shadow: South Africa, Black and White, based on his reporting from Johannesburg, South Africa, in the 1960s and 1980s. He received the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1986 for Move Your Shadow.[3]

Lelyveld's book "Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India" was banned in the Indian state of Gujarat from publication for insinuating that the subject, Mahatma Gandhi, was in a homosexual relationship. This ban receiving a unanimous vote in favor of the state of Gujarat in April 2011 by Gujarat's state assembly.[4]

He was also foreign editor of the Times, and its managing editor.[1][5] He is of Jewish descent.[6]


  • "House of Bondage: A South African Black Man Exposes in His Own Pictures and Words the Bitter Life of His Homeland Today" (foreword to book by Ernest Cole). New York: Random House, 1967. LCCN 67-21147
  • Move Your Shadow: South Africa, Black and White New York: Crown, 1985. ISBN 0-8129-1237-3 ISBN 978-0812912371
  • Omaha Blues: A Memory Loop. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005. ISBN 0-374-22590-7 ISBN 978-0374225902. April 6, 2005.
  • Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India Alfred A. Knopf, 2011. ISBN 978-0-307-26958-4, ISBN 978-0-307-26958-4. March 29, 2011.
  • His Final Battle: The Last Months of Franklin Roosevelt. Alfred A. Knopf, 2016. ISBN 0-385-350791 ISBN 978-0385350792. Sept. 6, 2016.


  1. ^ a b c "Center for Communication – Bios". Archived from the original on December 31, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2008.
  2. ^ Lelyveld, Joseph (March 6, 2005). "Breaking Away". New York Times Magazine. Retrieved October 14, 2008.
  3. ^ "Pulitzer Prize Winners: General Non-Fiction" (web). Retrieved March 8, 2008.
  4. ^ "Indian state bans Gandhi book after reviews hint at gay relationship". The Guardian. London. March 30, 2011.
  5. ^ Dubner, Stephen J. (March 21, 2005). "The Vindication of Former New York Times Executive Editor Joe Lelyveld". New York Magazine. Retrieved October 14, 2008.
  6. ^ Rosenblatt, Gary (May 22, 2019). "With NY Times Under Siege, Jewish Reporters Hit Back". The New York Jewish Week. Abe Rosenthal, Max Frankel, Joe Lelyveld, Jill Abramson — that’s four Jewish executive editors” [the top editorial post] in the three decades he was on staff, Berger said, listing the names rapidly and with emotion in his voice.


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