Timothy Noah

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Timothy Noah
Timothy Noah at Chadd's Ford.jpg
Noah in 2016
Born1958 (age 63–64)[1]
New York City, US
OccupationJournalist, author
(m. 1990; died 2005)

Sarah McNamer (m. 2018)
Children2 (and 2 stepdaughters)
RelativesPeter Noah (brother)
Adam Levine (nephew)

Timothy Robert Noah (born 1958),[1] an American journalist and author, is a staff writer at The New Republic. Previously he was labor policy editor for Politico, a contributing writer at MSNBC.com, a senior editor of The New Republic[2][3][4] assigned to write the biweekly "TRB From Washington" column, and a senior writer at Slate, where for a decade he wrote the "Chatterbox" column. In April 2012, Noah published a book, The Great Divergence, about income inequality in the United States.

Early life and education[edit]

Noah is the son of Marian Jane (née Swentor) and Robert M. Noah, a television producer.[1][5] He grew up in New Rochelle, New York, and Beverly Hills, California. His father was Jewish, and his mother was Protestant; he describes himself as an atheist.[6] He is a graduate of Harvard College, where he obtained a degree in English in 1980,[7] and where he was on the prose board of the Harvard Advocate. He lives in Washington, D.C.[8]


Earlier in his career, Noah was an assistant managing editor at U.S. News & World Report, a Washington reporter for The Wall Street Journal,[9][10] an intern and then staff writer at The New Republic, and a congressional correspondent for Newsweek. Noah is a contributing editor to The Washington Monthly, where he was an editor (1983–85), and where he returned for six weeks as guest web editor in the summer of 2021. He has been a frequent broadcast commentator on CBS News' Sunday Morning and NPR's former program, Day To Day.

On February 24, 2007, Noah wrote an article for Slate entitled "Evicted from Wikipedia", which critiques the online encyclopedia's notability policy as an illustration of our society's "love affair with invidious distinction," and cited Thorstein Veblen's 1899 critique of consumerism, The Theory of the Leisure Class to this effect.[11]

In 2010, Noah was a National Magazine Award finalist in the online news reporting category for his Slate coverage of the health care reform bill.

The Great Divergence grew out of a ten-part series[12] that Noah published in Slate in September 2010. The series won the 2011 Hillman Prize in the magazine category, and was the first online-only work ever to do so.[13] Writing on Page One of the New York Times Book Review, the Harvard economist Benjamin Friedman called the book "as fair and comprehensive a summary as we are likely to get of what economists have learned about our growing inequality." The book also won praise from Nicholas Lemann in the New Yorker, Andrew Hacker in the New York Review of Books, and William Julius Wilson in the Nation.

On March 22, 2013, Noah announced over Twitter that he'd been fired by The New Republic. He said he didn't know why.[14] Editor Franklin Foer said "Tim Noah has been a strong voice for liberalism and a rigorous columnist for The New Republic. We’ve appreciated his passion and contribution to the magazine over the past two years and wish him the very best."[15] Noah started freelancing a weekly column for the magazine again in 2020, and in September 2021 he rejoined the staff.

Iraq War[edit]

In a February 2003 article in Slate,[16] Noah described his initial opposition to the Iraq War and his conversion to the pro-war position by Colin Powell's February 3 speech to the United Nations. After many of Powell's statements were proven false, Noah changed his mind again about the war, praising those who had remained steadfastly against it in an August 2004 column.[17] After that, he became an outspoken critic of the media's ongoing tendency to grant credibility to war boosters, while discounting the views of those who opposed the war from the start.[18]

Personal life[edit]

In September 2018 Noah married Sarah McNamer, a medievalist and professor of English at Georgetown University.[19][20]

Noah's first wife, fellow journalist Marjorie Williams, died of cancer in 2005. After her death, Noah edited an anthology of Williams' writing, The Woman at the Washington Zoo: Writings on Politics, Family, and Fate.[21] The book won PEN's Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction and a National Magazine Award in the category of essays and criticism. A second Williams anthology, Reputation: Portraits in Power was published in October 2008.

Noah has two children[22] and two stepchildren. His brother is television writer/producer Peter Noah.[23] His sister, Patsy Noah, co-founded[24] the charity Your Mom Cares. Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine is his nephew.[25]

Selected appearances on CBS News's Sunday Morning[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Marjorie Williams Marries". The New York Times. 1990-08-12. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  2. ^ "On Media: Jonathan Chait to New York; Timothy Noah to New Republic, Politico, September 6, 2011.
  3. ^ Richard Just, "Home News: TNR Hires Timothy Noah," The New Republic, September 6, 2011.
  4. ^ Michael Calderone, The New Republic Fires Timothy Noah, The Huffington Post, March 22, 2013
  5. ^ Marriage Announcement 1 -- No Title
  6. ^ Noah, Timothy (2008-08-13). "Mary Matalin, Publisher: When political hacks edit books". Slate.com.
  7. ^ Jack Shafer (Sep 17, 2009). "Murder Draped in Ivy". Slate. Retrieved 2010-09-08.
  8. ^ "Timothy Noah's Twitter bio". Retrieved 2013-07-09.
  9. ^ "Timothy Noah bio". The Washington Monthly. Archived from the original on 2007-02-22. Retrieved 2007-02-27.
  10. ^ "Staff: Who We Are". Slate. Archived from the original on 2011-06-23. Retrieved 2007-02-27.
  11. ^ Noah, Timothy (February 24, 2007). "Evicted From Wikipedia". Slate.
  12. ^ "The Great Divergence"
  13. ^ "The Sidney Hillman Foundation Announces 2011 Prizes for Exemplary Reporting that Fosters Social and Economic Justice | Hillman Foundation". Archived from the original on 2012-05-12. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
  14. ^ Timothy Noah [@TimothyNoah1] (22 March 2013). "I just got fired from @tnr. Don't have a clue why. Anybody got a job?" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  15. ^ J.K. Trotter, Timothy Noah Is Out at The New Republic and Twitter Wants to Know What Happened The Atlantic 22 March 2013
  16. ^ Timothy Noah (February 10, 2003). "Chatterbox Goes to War". Slate.
  17. ^ Timothy Noah, Can You Forgive Them?, Slate, August 20, 2004
  18. ^ Timothy Noah, How Did I Get Iraq Wrong? Wrong Question.
  19. ^ Sherman, Jake; Palmer, Anna; Lippman, Daniel; Ross, Garrett; Okun, Eli. "POLITICO Playbook PM: The shutdown puzzle pieces". POLITICO. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  20. ^ "Timothy Noah website".
  21. ^ Meghan O'Rourke (November 9, 2005). "Marjorie Williams: A journalist who made feminism matter". Slate.
  22. ^ Block, Melissa (28 November 2005). "Marjorie Williams: 'Woman at the Washington Zoo'". NPR. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  23. ^ Govan, Chloé (2013-10-14). Maroon 5: Shooting for the Stars. ISBN 9781783230037 – via Google Books.
  24. ^ "Adam Levine and Jonah Hill's Moms Are BFFS — and Teaming up to Help Kids in Need".
  25. ^ Timothy Noah (January 20, 2009). "Inaugorophobia, Part 2". Slate. Retrieved 2010-09-08. My rock-star nephew Adam Levine and my sister Patsy, both visiting from Los Angeles, did not.

External links[edit]