Mariane Pearl

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Mariane Pearl
Marianne Pearl.jpg
Mariane Pearl in 2003
Mariane van Neyenhoff

(1967-07-23) 23 July 1967 (age 53)
(m. 1999; died 2002)
ChildrenAdam Daniel Pearl

Mariane van Neyenhoff Pearl (born 23 July 1967) is a French freelance journalist[1] and a former reporter and columnist[2] for Glamour magazine. She is the widow of Daniel Pearl,[3] an American journalist who was the Southeast Asia Bureau Chief for The Wall Street Journal, who was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in Pakistan in early 2002, during the early months of the United States' War on Terror.

Pearl published a memoir, A Mighty Heart (2003), about her husband and his life. It was adapted as a film of the same name, released in 2007.

Life and career[edit]

Mariane van Neyenhoff was born in Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine, France, to a Cuban mother of Afro-Chinese-Cuban descent and a Dutch Jewish father. Her paternal grandfather was a diamond merchant in the Netherlands.[4][5][6][7] Mariane and her brother Satchi Van Neyenhoff were raised in Paris, where they both started their careers. Satchi Van Neyenhoff became a sound editor.[5][8]

Van Neyenhoff started in journalism. She became a reporter for international Glamour magazine. In addition, she had a column with the magazine, known as the Global Diary Column. She explored aspects of globalization as seen through fashion and its business elements.

Van Neyenhoff met American journalist Daniel Pearl in 1999, while he was on assignment in Paris.[9]

They married in August 1999 in Paris.[1] After Pearl was promoted to South Asia Bureau Chief for The Wall Street Journal, they lived for a time in Mumbai, India. She also traveled with him to Karachi, Pakistan, to cover aspects of the United States' War on Terrorism. In 2002, he was kidnapped after meeting a source for dinner. Pakistani militants announced the abduction. They murdered Daniel Pearl by beheading on 1 February 2002. Adam Daniel Pearl, the son of Daniel and Mariane, was born in Paris four months after his father had been murdered.[10] Mariane Pearl is a practicing Nichiren Buddhist and a member of Soka Gakkai International.[11][12][13]

Mariane Pearl's memoir, A Mighty Heart, deals with the events surrounding her husband's kidnapping and murder by Pakistani militants in 2002. Both United States and Pakistani agencies joined to try to capture his killers and bring them to justice.

In July 2002, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British national of Pakistani origin, was sentenced in Pakistan to death by hanging for Pearl's abduction and murder. His sentence was commuted to life in jail. Three other men were convicted of their roles in the journalist's murder.[14][15]

Adaptation of memoir[edit]

Her book was adapted for the 2007 film of the same name. Co-produced by Brad Pitt, Andrew Eaton and Dede Gardner[16] and directed by Michael Winterbottom, the film stars Angelina Jolie and Dan Futterman as Mariane and Daniel Pearl.[17][18][19][20]

Daniel Pearl Foundation[edit]

Pearl is a member of the honorary board of the Daniel Pearl Foundation[21] which was founded by Daniel's parents Ruth and Judea Pearl. Honorary board members include international correspondent Christiane Amanpour; former US President Bill Clinton; Pakistani philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi; president of Stanford University John L. Hennessy; Nightline anchorman Ted Koppel; Queen Noor of Jordan; Palestinian professor and president of Al-Quds University Sari Nusseibeh; violinist Itzhak Perlman; author Elie Wiesel, and others.


In July 2007, following the trials in Pakistan and revelations by Al-Qaeda terrorists held by the United States of participation in Daniel Pearl's abduction and murder, Mariane Pearl filed suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York[22][23] against a dozen named terrorists and a bank which may have financed them; she was seeking damages for their alleged roles in the abduction, torture and murder of her husband. Those named in the suit include Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, already convicted of murder and sentenced to death; Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, being held by the US at Guantanamo Bay; and Habib Bank of Pakistan. On 24 October 2007, her attorneys dropped the lawsuit.

Lawyers for Mariane Pearl noted that Habib Bank Limited and the other defendants in the case had not answered the lawsuit filed in July (although Habib Bank Limited had denied ever supporting terrorism).[24] They did not explain their reason for dropping the action.[25] A spokesman has stated that the withdrawal was due to personal reasons on the part of Pearl and should have no bearing on the merits of the lawsuit.[24]


  • A Mighty Heart. Mariane Pearl and Sarah Crichton. New York: Scribner, 2003. ISBN 0-7432-4442-7, ISBN 978-0-7432-4442-8.



  1. ^ a b "Jim Lehrer interviews Mariane Pearl, the wife of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl". The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. 18 March 2002. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
  2. ^ "Global Diary". Glamour magazine. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
  3. ^ Bill Broadway (15 January 2005). "Intersection of Faith and Freedom: Richmond Group That Promotes Religious Tolerance Presents Listing of Top 10 Issues". The Washington Post. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
  4. ^ "A Widow, But Spare The Pity; Resisting Pressure To Sentimentalize Over Daniel Pearl". The New York Times. 6 October 2003.
  5. ^ a b Mariane Pearl (August 2006). "The woman who gave me my strength". Glamour magazine. Note: this article is also on the Institute for Jewish & Community Research website (link Archived 12 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine).
  6. ^ Heller McAlpin (2 October 2003). "Collateral Damage". Christian Science Monitor.
  7. ^ Andrew O'Hehir (21 May 2007). "Beyond the Multiplex". Retrieved 16 June 2007.
  8. ^ Satchi Van Neyenhoff on IMDb
  9. ^ "Larry King Live: Transcript of Interview With Mariane Pearl". Larry King Live. 19 March 2002. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
  10. ^ "Pearl's widow gives birth to their son Adam Daniel Pearl". CNN. 30 May 2002. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
  11. ^ "A Spirit of Defiance: Transcript of Radio Program". Speaking of Faith. 19 October 2006. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
  12. ^ Bill Broadway (23 March 2002). "Widow's Strength Inspires Faithful; Public Statements Demonstrate Pearl's Buddhist Beliefs". The Washington Post. (abstract). Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
  13. ^ Bill Broadway (6 April 2002). "Pearl's widow champions Buddhist beliefs, inspires the faithful". The Washington Post. Buddhist Fellowship news features. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
  14. ^ "Online NewsHour Update: Pakistan Convicts Four Men in Pearl Murder". 15 July 2002. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  15. ^ "Profile: Omar Saeed Sheikh". BBC News. 16 July 2002. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  16. ^ Justin Chang (21 May 2007). "A Mighty Heart: Cannes Film Festival Review". Variety. Retrieved 16 June 2007.
  17. ^ Scott Bowles (10 October 2006). "Jolie and Pitt, with 'Heart'". USA Today.
  18. ^ Agence France Presse (4 May 2007). "Angelina Jolie and Mariane Pearl discuss 'A Mighty Heart'". Turkish Daily News. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007.
  19. ^ Teresa Wiltz (23 June 2007). "A Part Colored By History". The Washington Post, p. C01.
  20. ^ Asra Q. Nomani (24 June 2007). "A Mighty Shame". The Washington Post.
  21. ^ "The Daniel Pearl Foundation". The Daniel Pearl Foundation. Retrieved 18 June 2007.
  22. ^ Patricia Hurtado (18 July 2007). "Pearl Widow Sues Pakistan Bank Over Murder of Husband (Update5)". Bloomberg.
  23. ^ Reuters (18 July 2007). "Mariane Pearl sues al Qaeda over husband's killing". Yahoo! News.
  24. ^ a b Reuters (25 October 2007). "Pearl widow drops lawsuit against al Qaeda". ABC News (Australia).
  25. ^ Associated Press (24 October 2007). "Daniel Pearl's widow drops terror lawsuit: Wife of murdered journalist sought damages from al-Qaida, Pakistan bank". NBC News.
  26. ^ Mariane Pearl on IMDb.

External links[edit]