Michael T. Kaufman

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Michael T. Kaufman
BornMarch 23, 1938
DiedJanuary 15, 2010
ResidenceManhattan, New York, U.S.
EducationBronx High School of Science
Alma materCity College
Spouse(s)Rebecca Kaufman
Parent(s)Adam Kaufman
Pauline Kaufman

Michael T. Kaufman (March 23, 1938 – January 15, 2010) was a writer for The New York Times. He won the 1978 George Polk Award for foreign reporting for coverage of Africa.[1]


Kaufman was born in Paris as the only child of Adam and Pauline Kaufman. Pauline was a teacher and Adam was an economist. In 1940, when the Nazis invaded France, the Kaufman family moved to Spain and in 1941 sailed from Lisbon to New York. He grew up in Manhattan and at age 13, sold ice cream. He graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1954 and obtained his degree to City College in 1959.[2] He was married to Rebecca in 1960 and the couple had two sons and a daughter.[citation needed]


After graduating college, Kaufman taught school in Harlem but quit after a few months to become a copy boy at the Times in 1959. During his 40 years at The New York Times, Kaufman worked as a foreign correspondent, reporter, and columnist. As a correspondent, he traveled the world and interviewed a number of prestigious individuals. He also wrote for The New York Times Magazine and, after retiring in 1999, wrote obituaries of world and national leaders.


External video
Booknotes interview with Kaufman on Mad Dreams, Saving Graces, July 30, 1989, C-SPAN

Kaufman wrote seven books and thousands of articles that covered wars, revolutions, politics, and the 1960s in America.

  • Mad Dreams, Saving Graces: Poland: A Nation in Conspiracy (1989)
  • Soros: The Life and Times of a Messianic Billionaire (Alfred A. Knoff, 2002)
  • The Collapse of Communism (1991)
  • The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Empire (1992)


He died at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center from pancreatic cancer at the age of 71.

More than a year after his death, Kaufman was included in the byline for the New York Times obituary of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011.[3] Kaufman was also coauthor of New York Times obituary of Wojciech Jaruzelski[4] published more than 4 years after Kaufman's death, as well that of Andrzej Wajda,[5] published more than 6 years after Kaufman's death. His own obituary [6] appeared in the New York Times on January 15, 2010.


  1. ^ Robert D. McFadden (January 15, 2010). "Michael Kaufman, Times Reporter Who Roamed World, Is Dead at 71". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-06-28. Michael T. Kaufman, a former foreign correspondent, reporter and columnist for The New York Times who chronicled despotic regimes in Europe and Africa, the fall of Communism and the changing American scene for four decades, died on Friday in Manhattan. He was 71. His death, at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, was caused by pancreatic cancer, his wife, Rebecca, said. Mr. Kaufman lived in Manhattan.
  2. ^ McFadden, Robert. "Michael Kaufman, Times Reporter Who Roamed World, Is Dead at 71". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  3. ^ Zernike, Kate; Kaufman, Michael T. (May 2, 2011). "Obituary, Osama bin Laden, 1957-2011: The Most Wanted Face of Terrorism".
  4. ^ Kaufman, Michael T.; Kulish, Nicholas (May 25, 2014). "Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, Poland's Last Communist Leader, Dies at 90".
  5. ^ Kaufman, Michael T.; Keepnews, Peter (Oct 9, 2016). "Andrzej Wajda, Towering Auteur of Polish Cinema, Dies at 90".
  6. ^ "Michael Kaufman, Times Reporter Who Roamed World, Is Dead at 71". January 15, 2010.