Thomas Friedman's Biography
Friedman is known for supporting modernization of the Arab world, environmentalism and globalization
Thomas Friedman's Auto-Biography
Thomas Lauren Friedman (born July 20, 1953) is an award winning American journalist, columnist and author. He is an op-ed contributor to The New York Times, whose column appears twice weekly and mainly addresses topics on foreign affairs. Friedman is known for supporting a compromise resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, modernization of the Arab world, environmentalism and globalization. Although an early supporter of the invasion of Iraq, he later became an outspoken critic of the war and the Bush administration.
Thomas Friedman was born in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. He attended St. Louis Park High School, where he wrote articles for his school's newspaper, including one in which he interviewed Ariel Sharon, an Israeli general who later became Prime Minister of Israel. Friedman graduated in 1971.
In 1975, Friedman received a bachelor of arts in Mediterranean studies from Brandeis University, where he first arrived as a transfer student in 1973. He then attended St Antony's College at the University of Oxford on a Marshall scholarship, earning an M.Phil. in Middle Eastern studies. He names Professor Albert Hourani among his important academic influences.
Friedman's wife, Ann, is a graduate of Stanford University and the London School of Economics. Her father, Matthew Bucksbaum, is the chairman of the board of General Growth Properties, the real estate development group that he co-founded with his brother in 1954. The Bucksbaums helped pioneer the development of shopping centers in the United States. As of 2007, Forbes estimated the Bucksbaum family's assets at $4.1 billion, including about 18.6 million square meters of mall space.
Ann and Thomas Friedman live in Bethesda, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. The July 2006 issue of Washingtonian reported that they own "a palatial 11,400-square-foot (1,060 m2) house, currently valued at $9.3 million, on a 7½-acre parcel just blocks from I-495 and Bethesda Country Club." They have two daughters: Orly Friedman (b. 1985), who attended Yale University; and Natalie Friedman (b. 1988), who attends Williams College. Both were born in Israel while Friedman served as a correspondent for The New York Times. Friedman has dedicated many of his published works to his daughters.
Upon graduating, Friedman joined the London bureau of United Press International. He was dispatched a year later to Beirut, where he stayed until 1981. He was then hired by The New York Times as a reporter, and was redispatched to Beirut at the start of the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Friedman's coverage of the war, particularly the Sabra and Shatila massacre, won him the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. With David K. Shipler, he also won the 1982 George Polk Award for Foreign Reporting.
He was assigned to Jerusalem from 1984 to 1988, and received a second Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the First Palestinian Intifada. Afterwards he wrote a book, From Beirut to Jerusalem, describing his experiences in the Middle East.
Friedman covered Secretary of State James Baker during the administration of United States President George H. W. Bush. Following the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, he became the White House correspondent for the Times. In 1994, he began to write more about foreign policy and economics, and moved to the op-ed page of The New York Times the following year as a foreign affairs columnist.
Friedman is the recipient of the 2004 Overseas Press Club Award for lifetime achievement, and has been named to the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.
Web Site: Thomas Friedman