Marie Brenner

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Marie Brenner
Marie brenner bio.jpg
Marie Brenner
Marie Harriet Brenner

(1949-12-15) December 15, 1949 (age 70)
OccupationAuthor, investigative journalist
Jonathan Schwartz
(m. 1979; div. 1984)

Ernest Harold Pomerantz
(m. after 1985)
RelativesAnita Brenner (aunt)

Marie Harriet Brenner (born December 15, 1949) is an American author, investigative journalist and writer-at-large for Vanity Fair.[1] She has also written for New York, The New Yorker and the Boston Herald[2] and has taught at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.[3] Her 1996 Vanity Fair article on tobacco insider Jeffrey Wigand, "The Man Who Knew Too Much", inspired the 1999 movie The Insider, starring Russell Crowe and Al Pacino. Her February 1997 Vanity Fair article "American Tragedy: The Ballad of Richard Jewell" partially inspired the 2019 film Richard Jewell directed by Clint Eastwood.[4]


Brenner earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Texas at Austin and received a M.A. from New York University Film School.[5] She was the first female baseball columnist covering the American League, traveling with the Boston Red Sox for the Boston Herald during the 1979 season.[6] Brenner worked as a contributing editor for New York magazine from 1980–1984, and covered the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.[7]

Brenner joined Vanity Fair as a special correspondent in 1984. She left the magazine in 1992 to become a staff writer at The New Yorker, returning to Vanity Fair in 1995 as writer-at-large.[2] Her 1996 article for Vanity Fair on Jeffrey Wigand and the tobacco wars, titled "The Man Who Knew Too Much",[8] was made into the 1999 feature film The Insider, starring Russell Crowe and Al Pacino, and directed by Michael Mann. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.[9]

In 1997, she wrote an article for Vanity Fair on Richard Jewell, the security guard hailed as a hero, then incorrectly suspected, of the Olympic Park bombing in 1996. Titled "American Tragedy: The Ballad of Richard Jewell", it was, along with the 2019 book The Suspect: An Olympic Bombing, the FBI, the Media, and Richard Jewell, the Man Caught in the Middle by Kent Alexander and Kevin Salwen, the basis of the 2019 film Richard Jewell.[4][10][11][12]

Brenner's 2002 Vanity Fair article, "The Enron Wars," delving into the investigation into the Enron scandals, made national news when Senator Peter Fitzgerald used it to question witnesses testifying before a senate committee.[13]

In 2009, the Manhattan Theater Club announced that it had commissioned Alfred Uhry to adapt Brenner's memoir Apples and Oranges: My Brother and Me, Lost and Found for the stage.[14]

An archive of Brenner's work is stored at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University.[15]

Incident with Donald Trump[edit]

During a black-tie gala at Tavern on the Green in 1991, Donald Trump poured a glass of wine down Marie Brenner's suit because she had written an unflattering piece about him earlier that year.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Brenner was born December 15, 1949 in San Antonio, Texas, to Milton Conrad Brenner and Thelma (Long) Brenner. She grew up in San Antonio and moved to New York City in 1970.

Her father was chairman of Solo Serve Corporation, a chain of Texas discount stores started by her grandfather Isidor Brenner. Isidor, born in 1872, was a Jewish emigrant to Texas from the Duchy of Kurland (in modern Latvia), in 1890. He married Paula, a Jewish emigrant from Riga, Latvia, by way of Chicago.[17] The couple moved their family back and forth between Mexico and Texas during the first years of the Mexican Revolution,[18] finally settling the family in San Antonio, in 1916.[19]

She is the niece of Anita Brenner, anthropologist, author, and one of the first women to be a regular contributor to The New York Times. She had an older brother Carl, a lawyer turned apple farmer who was the focus of her memoir, Apples and Oranges: My Brother and Me, Lost and Found. [20]


  • A Private war : Marie Colvin and other tales of heroes, scoundrels and renegades, London : Simon & Schuster, UK Ltd. 2018. ISBN 9781471180705, OCLC 1040537511[21][22]
  • Apples and Oranges: My Brother and Me, Lost and Found by Marie Brenner New York: Picador, 2008. ISBN 9780312428808, OCLC 1084679418
  • Great Dames: What I Learned from Older Women New York : Three Rivers Press, 2000. ISBN 9780609807095, OCLC 47051999
  • House of Dreams: the collapse of an American dynasty, London: Joseph, 1988. ISBN 9780718132477, OCLC 9672879
  • Intimate Distance New York, N. Y. : W. Morrow and Co., 1983. ISBN 9780688021375, OCLC 1084921214
  • Going Hollywood: An Insider's Look at Power and Pretense in the Movie Business New York : Delacorte Press, 1978. ISBN 9780440030188, OCLC 3186647
  • Tell Me Everything New York : New American Library, 1976. ISBN 9780451076854, OCLC 5898486

Further reading[edit]

  • Art at Our Doorstep: San Antonio Writers and Artists featuring Marie Brenner. Edited by Nan Cuba and Riley Robinson (Trinity University Press, 2008).


  1. ^ Panero, James (2008-06-29). "Brother, Who Art Thou?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  2. ^ a b "Marie Brenner". Vanity Fair.
  3. ^ "The George T. Delacorte Center". Columbia University.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ a b Alas, Mert. "AMERICAN NIGHTMARE: The Ballad of RICHARD JEWELL | Vanity Fair | February 1997". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  5. ^ "Marie Brenner Is Married to Ernest H. Pomerantz". The New York Times. 1985-04-15. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  6. ^ "Press Release: Marie Brenner to Speak at Friends of the libraries' Annual Meeting". Boston University. Archived from the original on 2006-09-11.
  7. ^ Marie Brenner (1981-08-03). "The Wedding of the Century". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  8. ^ "The Man Who Knew Too Much". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on 2018-08-04. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
  9. ^ The Insider on IMDb
  10. ^ Climek, Chris. "Review: 'Richard Jewell' Clears One Name While Smearing Another". NPR. Retrieved 2019-12-13.
  11. ^ Kent Alexander and Kevin Salwen (2019). The Suspect: An Olympic Bombing, the FBI, the Media, and Richard Jewell, the Man Caught in the Middle, Abrams, ISBN 1683355245.
  12. ^ Marc Tracy. "Clint Eastwood's 'Richard Jewell' Is at the Center of a Media Storm". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-12-14.
  13. ^ "Enron Executives Testify Before Senate Commerce Committee". 2001-02-07. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  14. ^ Kenneth Jones. "Uhry Will Adapt Brenner's Memoir for MTC; Meadow to Direct". Playbill.
  15. ^ "Marie Brenner: Insider Investigations". Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University. Archived from the original on 2008-07-24.
  16. ^ Brown, Tina (November 14, 2017). The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983 - 1992. Henry Holt and Co. ISBN 1627791361.
  17. ^ Marie Brenner (2008). Apples and Oranges: My Brother and Me, Lost and Found. New York: Sarah Crichton Books. pp. 99-100 and 104-105. ISBN 9780374173524
  18. ^ Martinez del Campo, Lynda (August 3, 2013). "Anita Brenner: A Bridge Between Nations and Religions". Mexican Museums and Mavens. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  19. ^ Villela, Khristaan D. (9 March 2012). "Jazz Age Chronicles: Anita Brenner on Mexico's Avant-Garde Art and Artists." Review of Avant-Garde Art and Artists in Mexico: Anita Brenner Journals of the Roaring Twenties, ed. Susanna Glusker". Pasatiempo: 18–23. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  20. ^ Jennie Yabroff. "Brothers and Sisters". Newsweek.
  21. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (2018-11-01). "Review: Marie Colvin Fights 'A Private War'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  22. ^ "a private war marie colvin - Yahoo Search Results". Retrieved 2019-05-13.

External links[edit]