Pulitzer Prize–Winning Journalist & Author
No one delivers stories that shape our times like Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, author, and filmmaker Ron Suskind. His books on Presidents Bush and Obama revealed, during the terms of both Presidents, all the key conclusions that now define both administrations and their eras. He did the same with his seminal New York Times opus on the Trump Presidency the weekend before the 2020 election. The legendary journalist—with sources atop both parties, the U.S. government, Corporate America, and among foreign leaders—provides actionable information about where we stand and where we’re headed that is unmatched.
At the same time, NPR calls him “a master storyteller with the lyricism of a poet.” The fact that he is both—an indefatigable investigator and lyrical narrator —is what makes Mr. Suskind so unique, and makes his works, in print and in movies, among the era’s most consequential and deeply affecting.
Take the year 2020 as an example: As he was sounding his historic red alert about the Trump Presidency for the New York Times, he was also inspiring and co-producing Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up—Netflix’s most watched movie ever, and a film that would engage and enliven hundreds of millions across the globe about the urgency of climate change.
At the same time, he was launching a company, BongoMedia, that is transforming journalism with a proprietary platform—called “the conversation catcher”—for reporting otherwise inaccessible stories by safely capturing off-the-record material and presenting it as compelling, not-for-attribution, written and video content. His debut of the platform in a multi-media event in the New York Times—capturing 40 doctors talking among themselves during initial battles with Covid—is considered one of the signature stories of the pandemic. “The story allowed me and my hospital’s board of directors to fully understand what we were really up against,” said Dr. Steve Corwin, head of New York Presbyterian, the nation’s largest hospital. “And it deeply moved me.”
It did the same for the vast public. Mr. Suskind has been doing this for three decades, with prize-winning stories, books, and films that have shaped the nation’s views about:
• Race and Opportunity (his Pulitzer Prize-winning series in the Wall Street Journal and then critically acclaimed bestseller, A Hope in the Unseen)
• The War on Terror and America’s loss of moral authority (The One Percent Doctrine).
• The disastrous rise of disinformation (New York Times Magazine, launching the phrase “reality-based” into common speech)
• The Great Crash of 2008 and the Obama Presidency (Confidence Men).
• The power of neurodiversity (Life, Animated, about his son and autism, followed by his 2018 Emmy Award–winning, Academy Award–nominated film). The film has changed the way the differently abled are seen across the world.
Historians cite Mr. Suskind as among America’s most consequential storytellers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. He has received numerous honorary doctorates and has taught at Harvard (as the Senior Fellow for Ethics), Dartmouth College, and Harvard Law School, where he created the class Public Narrative and Justice. He holds five patents for digital engagement technologies; created a suite of apps called Sidekicks; and invented a therapeutic model for treating autism, “Affinity Therapy,” that allows therapists to harness a patient’s deep interests to augment learning and emotional health.
Among our finest stage performers, Mr. Suskind was the co-host of Life 360, a ground-breaking newsmagazine co-produced by PBS and ABC, and created an NPR podcast, Freak Out and Carry On, with the historian Heather Cox Richardson that mapped the first, defining year of the Trump Presidency. He frequently appears on network and cable television and is a regular contributor to the Rachel Maddow Show and PBS’s NewsHour with Judy Woodruff.