David Remnick

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David Remnick
David Remnick in 2008.jpg
Remnick at the New Yorker conference, 2008
Born (1958-10-29) October 29, 1958 (age 61)
Hackensack, New Jersey, U.S.
Alma mater Princeton University
Occupation Magazine editor, journalist, writer
Title Editor-in-chief of The New Yorker
Spouse(s) Esther Fein (3 children)

David Remnick (born October 29, 1958) is a progressive American journalist, writer, and magazine editor. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for his book Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire. Remnick has been editor of The New Yorker magazine since 1998. He was named Editor of the Year by Advertising Age in 2000. Before joining The New Yorker, Remnick was a reporter and the Moscow correspondent for The Washington Post. He has also served on the New York Public Library's board of trustees. In 2010 he published his sixth book, The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama.

Early life and family

Remnick was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, the son of a dentist, Edward C. Remnick, and an art teacher, Barbara (Seigel).[1][2] He was raised in Hillsdale, New Jersey, in a secular Jewish home with, he has said, "a lot of books around."[3] He is also childhood friends with comedian Bill Maher. He attended Pascack Valley High School in Hillsdale where he studied the Russian language under the tutelage of Francis Falk, which fueled his interest in the Soviet Union and Russian studies.

He graduated from Princeton University in 1981 with an A.B. in comparative literature; there, he met writer John McPhee, was a member of the University Press Club, and helped found The Nassau Weekly. Remnick has implied that after college he wanted to write novels, but due to his parents' illnesses, he needed a paying job as he had no trust fund to rely on.[4] Remnick wanted to be a writer, so he chose a career in journalism, taking a job at The Washington Post.

He is married to reporter Esther Fein of The New York Times and has three children, Alex, Noah, and Natasha.[3] He enjoys jazz music and classic cinema and is fluent in Russian.[5]

Career at The Washington Post

He began his reporting career at The Washington Post in 1982 shortly after his graduation from Princeton.[6] His first assignment was to cover the United States Football League.[7] After six years, in 1988, he became the newspaper's Moscow correspondent, which provided him with the material for Lenin's Tomb. He also received the George Polk Award for excellence in journalism.

Career at The New Yorker

Remnick became a staff writer at The New Yorker in September 1992, after 10 years at The Washington Post.[6]

Remnick's 1997 New Yorker article "Kid Dynamite Blows Up", about boxer Mike Tyson, was nominated for a National Magazine Award.[6] In 1998, he became editor, succeeding Tina Brown. Remnick promoted Hendrik Hertzberg, a former Jimmy Carter speechwriter and former editor of The New Republic, to write the lead pieces in "Talk of the Town", the magazine's opening section. In 2005, Remnick earned $1 million for his work as the magazine's editor.[8]

In 2003 he wrote an editorial supporting the Iraq war in the days when it started.[9] In 2004, for the first time in its 80-year history, The New Yorker endorsed a presidential candidate, John Kerry.[10]

In May 2009, Remnick was featured in a long-form Twitter account of Dan Baum's career as a New Yorker staff writer. The tweets, written over the course of a week, described the difficult relationship between Baum and Remnick, his editor.[11]

Remnick's biography of President Barack Obama, The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, was released on April 6, 2010. It features hundreds of interviews with friends, colleagues, and other witnesses to Obama's rise to the presidency of the United States. The book has been widely reviewed in journals.[12]

In 2010, Remnick lent his support to the campaign urging the release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning after being convicted of adultery and ordering the murder of her husband by her lover.[13]

In 2013, Remnick was the guest speaker at Princeton University Class Day.

Remnick provided guest commentary and contributed to NBC coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia, including the opening ceremony and commentary for NBC News.



  1. Coussin, Orna (February 9, 2006). "How to put a legendary magazine back on its feet". Haaretz.
  2. Google books. Archived April 27, 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wood, Gaby (September 10, 2006). "The quiet American". The Observer. Retrieved April 10, 2011. "David Remnick was born in 1958 and grew up in Hillsdale, New Jersey, where his father was a dentist and his mother an art teacher."
  4. Bigthink Interview Series, YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i87X_OE3Qac[full citation needed]
  5. Hamill, Pete (May 14, 2006). "A Ringside Seat". The New York Times. Retrieved April 22, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "David Remnick". State University of New York: New York State Writers Institute.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. The Tony Kornheiser Show, WTEM, April 13, 2010
  8. "Salary Guide: Who Makes How Much", New York magazine (2005).
  9. Remnick, David (February 3, 2003). "Making a Case". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 16, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "New Yorker magazine endorsement of John Kerry". Retrieved May 9, 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Linkins, Jason (August 5, 2009). "Dan Baum, Fired By New Yorker, Recounting His Story On Twitter". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 22, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. McNeil D. The bridge-builders. Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies 2010, 11(4), 459–464.
  13. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani (July 22, 2010). "Iran stoning case woman ordered to name campaigners". The Guardian. London.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Preceded by
Tina Brown
Editor of The New Yorker
Succeeded by