Ken Kurson

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Ken Kurson
Born Kenneth Kurson
(1968-10-23) October 23, 1968 (age 48)
Residence South Orange, New Jersey
Nationality American
Education Glenbrook North High School
Occupation Chief Editor of The New York Observer

Kenneth "Ken" Kurson (born October 23, 1968) is an American political consultant, journalist, and author who currently serves as Chief Editor of The New York Observer. He previously served as executive vice president of Jamestown Associates, a political consulting firm based in Princeton, New Jersey and Washington, DC. PolitickerNJ ranked him as the 71st most influential individual in New Jersey politics on their 2009 Power List.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Kurson graduated from Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois in 1986.[citation needed] In high school, he led three-piece punk group Circles, whose tape The Defenestration of Prague earned a rave review from influential punk fanzine Maximumrocknroll, which noted that the song "War Heroes is an instant classic."[citation needed] From 1986 - 1990, Kurson played bass for the legendary Chicago rock band, Green.[citation needed] He is the younger brother of bestselling author Robert Kurson.[citation needed] While playing with Green, Ken wrote a song called "My Sister Jane" about his sister, the former Jane Kurson (now Jane Glover), who is not the same person as the film editor Jane Kurson, who edited Neighbors and Bad Girls.[citation needed] The song appears on Green's third album, White Soul.[citation needed] After leaving Green in 1990, Kurson founded The Lilacs with David Levinsky.[citation needed] Their first EP, The Lilacs Love You, was produced by Material Issue front man Jim Ellison.[citation needed] That release was followed by another 7", The Lilacs Hate You.[citation needed] Their full-length CD The Lilacs Rise Above the Filth was produced by Brad Wood and appeared in January 1992.[citation needed]

Work with Rudy Giuliani[edit]

Kurson is co-author with former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani of Leadership. Published in October 2002, Leadership became an immediate best seller, spending twenty-five weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List, including five at Number One. With over a million copies in print, Leadership garnered wide praise from critics, including glowing reviews in the New York Times ("a confident, dynamic primer on basic business ethics and grace under pressure"), the New York Times Book Review ("sturdy and leavened with flashes of wry wit"), and Business Week ("blustery, unapologetic, and marked by an obvious passion").

From January 1, 2002 – December 31, 2006, Kurson served as the Deputy Director of Communications for Giuliani Partners, the consulting company founded by Rudy Giuliani. Kurson wrote speeches and editorials with Giuliani and traveled with him to a dozen countries and nearly every state. Giuliani's speech to the 2004 Republican National Convention, written with Kurson, was broadcast on national television and earned praise as the standout speech of the convention. Kurson's published work with Giuliani includes editorials in Time, Newsweek, the New York Post, and a full-page editorial about European anti-Semitism in the New York Times that followed a meeting at the State Department with Colin Powell and the American Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Kurson also collaborated with the former Mayor on his speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention, joined by John Avlon.

Giuliani presidential campaign[edit]

Kurson served as Chief Operating Officer during Rudy Giuliani's unsuccessful 2008 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.[citation needed] Kurson was among the first hires of the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee, responsible for the Mid-Atlantic Region -- New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland.[citation needed] In May 2007, he was promoted to Chief Operating Officer, reporting to Michael DuHaime.[citation needed] He served in this role until Giuliani withdrew from the race on January 30, 2008.[citation needed] In November 2007, during a debate about Jewish issues with surrogates for Sen. John McCain and Gov. Mitt Romney, Kurson said, "if Bill Clinton was 'the first black president,' then the former New York mayor would be the first Jewish president."[2][3]


Kurson was the founder of and Green Magazine,[4] a personal finance site and magazine that was acquired by Bankrate in 1999.[5] The Industry Standard and the New York Times ran substantial profiles of Kurson in 2000. Yahoo! Internet Life named Green to its list of "100 best websites for 2001," featured on its cover.

Doubleday published Kurson's first book, The Green Magazine Guide to Personal Finance in April 1998 as its lead Spring paperback title.[6] It enjoyed positive reviews/mention in Worth, Wired, Playboy, Publishers Weekly, Detroit News, and elsewhere.

Kurson was a contributing editor at Esquire, where for five years (1997–2001), his monthly section, "Green," covered the world of investing.[4]

Kurson is the co-author with CNBC television personality David Faber of The Faber Report, published by Little, Brown in 2002.

Kurson is also the co-author of the personal memoir of biotechnology executive John Crowley entitled Chasing Miracles: The Crowley Family Journey of Strength, Hope and Joy. It was published by New Market Press in January 2010 to coincide with the release of Extraordinary Measures, the film dramatizing Crowley's work to find a treatment for his two youngest children who were diagnosed with Pompe Disease.[7]

In January 2013, Kurson was named the editor of The New York Observer by the newspaper's publisher, Jared Kushner.[8]

In June 2014, Kurson received The Algemeiner's Journalist of the Year award.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Kurson lives in West Orange, New Jersey with his children.[10][11]


  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-08-23. Retrieved 2009-08-14.  2009 NJ Power List
  2. ^ "Giuliani aide: Rudy would be the first Jewish president - -". Politico. Retrieved 19 July 2016. 
  3. ^ "Giuliani rep: Rudy will be the first Jewish president - Hot Air". Hot Air. 14 November 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2016. 
  4. ^ a b [1] Article by Ken noting career.
  5. ^[dead link]
  6. ^ Kurson, Ken (16 March 1998). "Green Magazine: No B.S. Book". Main Street Books. Retrieved 19 July 2016 – via Amazon. 
  7. ^ "An 'Extraordinary' welcome - Fans crowd aisles for 'Chasing Miracles' author". The Times (Trenton). 2010-01-24. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  8. ^ Carr, David (January 4, 2013). "New York Observer Hits Reset Again, Names Ken Kurson New Editor". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-01-24. 
  9. ^ "New York Observer’s Ken Kurson, Forbes’s Richard Behar Honored at Algemeiner Summer Benefit". The Algemeiner. 
  10. ^ Pompeo, Joe (4 January 2013). "Kurson's 'Observer' meant to appeal to 'Staten Island first responders, second-generation NYers in Forest Hills'". Politico. Retrieved 19 July 2016. ... the 44-year-old resident of South Orange, N.J.,.. 
  11. ^ Worth, Marcia (24 July 2009). "Art Installation on N. Wyoming Lawn". Retrieved 19 July 2016.