James Simon Kunen

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James Simon Kunen (born 1948) is an American author, journalist and lawyer. He is best known as the author of The Strawberry Statement, a first-person documentary of the Columbia University protests of 1968.


James Simon Kunen was an alumnus of Phillips Academy. He attended Columbia University during the 1968 student protests and participated in the student sit-in at the institution's Hamilton Hall, resulting in his arrest for trespassing. This experience led him to write The Strawberry Statement, documenting the university's controversial involvement with the government's Institute for Defense Analyses.[1]

After graduating from Columbia, he became a field journalist from Vietnam for TRUE magazine. This experience led to his second published work, Standard Operating Procedure.[1]

Afterward, he graduated from the New York University School of Law and moved to Washington, D.C., where he became a public defender. His experiences in criminal courts led to his writing "How Can You Defend Those People?", which was published by Random House in 1983.[1]

After leaving the Public Defender Service in Washington, Kunen worked as an editorial page editor at Newsday on Long Island before joining PEOPLE magazine as a writer and editor. His coverage for PEOPLE of the nation's worst drunk driving crash spurred him to write his fourth book, Reckless Disregard: Corporate Greed, Government Indifference and the Kentucky School Bus Crash.

Kunen has also written articles for The New Yorker, People, Newsday, and New York Times Magazine, among other notable publications.[1]

After losing employment with Time Warner as Director of Communications, after working with them for two decades, he wrote a book called "Diary of a Company Man: Losing a Job: Finding Life," published in January 2012.

Personal life

Kunen is married to Lisa Karlin, a radio journalist and social worker. They reside in Brooklyn, New York and have two children.[1]



External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 James Simon Kunen, The Strawberry Statement, 2nd printing, (Brandywine Press: St. James, New York, 1995).