Joshua Prager (writer)

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Joshua Harris Prager (born 1971) is an American journalist and author.


Joshua Harris Prager was born in a Jewish family in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Prager is the son of Columbia University physician and medical ethics expert Kenneth Prager, and the nephew of commentator Dennis Prager.[1] He attended the Moriah School in Englewood, New Jersey, the Ramaz High School in Manhattan,[2] and Columbia College, where he studied music theory.[3]

In May 1990, Prager was paralyzed in a road accident in Israel when a truck driver rammed into the minibus in which he was riding.[4]

Literary career[edit]

Prager often writes of historical secrets. He found the reclusive heir of Margaret Wise Brown, author of the classic children's book Goodnight Moon.[5] He confirmed the decades-long rumor that the New York Giants had stolen signs en route to the 1951 pennant.[6] He revealed that baseball pitcher Ralph Branca (pitcher in the aforementioned baseball game) was born to a Jewish mother.[7] He named the only anonymous winner in the history of the Pulitzer Prizes, the Iranian photographer Jahangir Razmi.[8] He revealed the suicides of the parents of Swedish humanitarian Raoul Wallenberg.[9] And he identified the anonymous patron in the famous book Joe Gould's Secret.[10]

Prager has written for publications including Vanity Fair,[11][12] the New York Times,[7] and the Wall Street Journal, where he was a senior writer for eight years.[13] His first book The Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca and the Shot Heard Round the World, is about the Shot Heard 'Round the World, a famous 1951 baseball playoff game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants.

His second book, Half Life: Reflections from Jerusalem on a Broken Neck is about the road accident in Israel that left him paralyzed.[14] He describes his rehabilitation and recovery from the accident; how he tracked down his fellow passengers and the wife of the bus driver, who was killed in the accident; and his meeting with the truck driver, who rambled on about his own suffering and expressed no remorse for his actions.[15]

In 2016 Prager published 100 Years: Wisdom From Famous Writers on Every Year of Your Life, a book of quotations designed by Milton Glaser[16]

Prager has lectured at venues including TED[13] and Google,[17] and has received fellowships from the Nieman Foundation for Journalism[18] and the Fulbright Program.[19]


  1. ^ Ford, Luke. Article on Dennis Prager, (March 13, 1998).
  2. ^ Cohen, Irwin. "Baseball Is Dull Only To Those With Dull Minds", The Jewish Press, February 7, 2007. "The best book you can get about Thomson's homer, the 1951 season, the players, sign-stealing and more is Joshua Prager's The Echoing Green. Prager, who grew up in New Jersey, went to Moriah Day School, Ramaz High School and spent a year in yeshiva after high school before going on to college and a writing career with The Wall Street Journal."
  3. ^"Joshua Prager grew up in New Jersey and studied music theory at Columbia College."
  4. ^ Prager, Joshua."A Movie Stokes My Memories",The Wall Street Journal, November 30, 2007.
  5. ^ Joshua Prager (September 8, 2000). "Runaway Money". Wall Street Journal. p. A1. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007.
  6. ^ Joshua Prager (January 31, 2001). "Inside Baseball". Wall Street Journal. p. A1. Archived from the original on January 13, 2013.
  7. ^ a b Joshua Prager (August 14, 2011). "For Branca, an Asterisk of a Different Kind". New York Times.
  8. ^ Joshua Prager (December 2, 2006). "A Chilling Photograph's Hidden History". Wall Street Journal. p. A1.
  9. ^ Joshua Prager (February 28, 2009). "The Wallenberg Curse". Wall Street Journal. p. A1.
  10. ^ Joshua Prager (February 11, 2014). "A Decades Long Literary Mystery is Solved". Vanity Fair.
  11. ^ Prager, Joshua (18 January 2013), "The Accidental Activist", Vanity Fair
  12. ^ Prager, Joshua (19 January 2017), "Roe v. Wade's Secret Heroine Tells Her Story", Vanity Fair
  13. ^ a b TEDTalentSearch (26 June 2012). "Joshua Prager: My personal half-life". Retrieved 21 November 2018 – via YouTube.
  14. ^ Half-life Archived 2013-03-15 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ The sound of one finger typing, Haaretz
  16. ^ Prager, Joshua. "Wisdom from great writers on every year of life". Retrieved 2016-05-04.
  17. ^ Talks at Google (16 May 2008). "Authors@Google: Josh Prager". Retrieved 21 November 2018 – via YouTube.
  18. ^ "2 AP staffers among 24 selected as Nieman Fellows". Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-02-02. Retrieved 2013-02-24.

External links[edit]