Joseph Lelyveld

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Joseph Lelyveld
Born (1937-04-05) April 5, 1937 (age 85)
EducationHarvard University (1958 B.A., 1959 M.A.[verification needed]), Columbia University (1960 M.S.)
OccupationJournalist, author
Known forPreviously editing The New York Times, earning a Pulitzer Prize for Move Your Shadow, controversy over book Great Soul
Children2 daughters

Joseph Salem Lelyveld[1] (born April 5, 1937 in Cincinnati, Ohio[1]) 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.[2] He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, and a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books.

Early life and education[edit]

Lelyveld received B.A. and M.A. degrees from Harvard University in 1958 and 1959.[clarification needed] He also received his M.S. degree from Columbia University in 1960.[1]


The New York Times[edit]

In all, Lelyveld worked at The New York Times for nearly 40 years, beginning in 1962.[2][3] At the Times, he went from copy editor to foreign correspondent within three years.

He was also a foreign editor of The New York Times, and its managing editor.[2][4]


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.[5]

Lelyveld's book Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India was banned in the Indian state of Gujarat from publication for allegedly insinuating that the subject, Mahatma Gandhi, was in a homosexual or homophilic relationship. This ban received a unanimous vote in favor of the state of Gujarat in April 2011 by Gujarat's state assembly.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Lelyveld lives in New York and has two daughters.[2] He is of Jewish descent.[7]

Nita Lelyveld, a daughter of Joseph Lelyveld, was named as "city editor"[clarification needed] of the Portland Press Herald in 2021.[8][relevant?]


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


  1. ^ a b c Fischer, Heinz-D. (February 14, 2012). General Nonfiction Award 1962 - 1993. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-097212-2.
  2. ^ a b c d "Center for Communication – Bios". Archived from the original on December 31, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2008.
  3. ^ Lelyveld, Joseph (March 6, 2005). "Breaking Away". New York Times Magazine. Retrieved October 14, 2008.
  4. ^ Dubner, Stephen J. (March 21, 2005). "The Vindication of Former New York Times Executive Editor Joe Lelyveld". New York. Retrieved October 14, 2008.
  5. ^ "Pulitzer Prize Winners: General Non-Fiction" (web). Retrieved March 8, 2008.
  6. ^ "Indian state bans Gandhi book after reviews hint at gay relationship". The Guardian. London. March 30, 2011.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Writer, Edward D. MurphyStaff (August 20, 2021). "Press Herald names new city editor". Press Herald. Retrieved February 11, 2022.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]