Vic Sussman

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Vic Sussman
Vic Sussman holding a crystal ball.gif
Vic Sussman in the early 1990s
Born Victor Stephan Sussman
(1939-11-21)November 21, 1939
Queens County,
New York, U.S.
Died November 22, 2004(2004-11-22) (aged 65)
Washington, D.C.
Alma mater American University
Occupation Journalist
  • Betsy Sussman (divorced)
  • Megin Walsh Sussman
  • Noah Sussman
  • Rachel Sussman
  • Brendan Sussman

Vic Sussman was the pen name of Victor Stephan Sussman (November 21, 1939 – November 22, 2004) an American newspaper and radio journalist. He was best known for writing about vegetarianism and the Internet but was also influential in the recumbent bicycle and stage magic communities.[1][2]


Sussman received a bachelor's and a master's degrees in communications from American University.[3]

Involvement with the Internet[edit]

Sussman was one of the first American journalists whose full-time beat was the Internet. He was directly involved in two historic events: the first public use of chat by a Vice President of the United States and the first email sent from the North Pole.

The bulk of Sussman's notable contributions to the Internet community occurred in the early to mid 90s while working for US News and The Washington Post. During the late 1990s and early 2000s Sussman worked on Internet and Web projects for America Online and Cahners Publishing. He also had a brief career as a speaker at conferences and corporate events, where he talked about the future of the Internet.[4]

At US News & World Report[edit]

Sussman worked for U.S. News & World Report from 1989 to 1996. During the early 1990s he began covering the emerging Information Superhighway. He wrote articles that helped to bring public attention to the arrest of Kevin Mitnick[5] and the criminal investigation of Phil Zimmermann by the US Customs Service.[6]

In 1994 Sussman was involved with the planning and execution of an "electronic town meeting" in which Vice President Al Gore answered questions posted via Compuserve chat. This marked the first time that a member of the Oval Office had used online chat to communicate with the public.[7][8]

Sussman was also the recipient of the first email sent from the North Pole. The email was sent in August 1995 by Mike Powers, commander of the Coast Guard ice breaker Polar Sea.[9]

At The Washington Post[edit]

In 1996 Sussman was hired by The Washington Post and worked for the newly launched While there he created[10] a live chat discussion forum called Live Online (later rebranded as Sussman also hosted a show called Love It, Hate It, Rate It which encouraged audience members to voice their opinions via online chat.[11]



The Vegetarian Alternative was Sussman's first book, published in 1978. It was co-authored by his wife, Betsy Sussman.[12]


  1. ^ Bernstein, Adam (November 24, 2004). "Vic Sussman Dies; Journalist, Farmer". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Perry, Suzanne (November 22, 2004). "Vic Sussman, Senior Editor at Public Radio Business Program Marketplace, Dies". American Public Media. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Vic Sussman Dies; Journalist, Farmer
  4. ^ "Fall Internet World 95 Speakers". Internet World. 1995. Archived from the original on January 27, 1999. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Sussman, Vic (February 19, 1995). "Gotcha! a Hard-Core Hacker Is Nabbed". Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  6. ^ Sussman, Vic (March 26, 1995). "Lost in Kafka Territory". US News & World Report. Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "Electronic Town Meeting Preview". The White House, Washington, D.C.: CSPAN. January 13, 1994. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "Electronic Town Meeting". The White House, Washington, D.C.: CSPAN. January 13, 1994. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "Telecommunication Haves and Have Nots". The CATO Institute, Washington, D.C.: CSPAN. May 31, 1995. Event occurs at Account of receiving the first email from the North Pole begins at 1:06. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "Cahners Selects Former Executive To Lead Interactive Web Development.". New York: PRNewswire. October 3, 2000. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  11. ^ Vic, Sussman (2000). "Love It, Hate It, Rate It!". Washington, D.C.: The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  12. ^ Vic, Sussman (1978). "The Vegetarian Alternative, published by Rodale Press!". Retrieved 19 January 2013.