David Leonhardt – Bio, Facts About The American Journalist

It seems farfetched to comprehend but some of the best journalists in the world today do not have degrees in the field. That is exactly the case of American journalist David Leonhardt, who is best known as a columnist for The New York Times. The Yale University graduate has held several ranking positions in the organization and has been recognized on multiple occasions by his peers for his outstanding work. Here are all the facts you need to know about him.

David Leonhardt Bio

David Leonhardt was welcomed into the world on the 1st of January, 1973 in Manhattan, New York City, New York. He was born to a Jewish father named Robert Leonhardt, and a Protestant mother named Joan Leonhardt (nee Alexander). It is not clear what Joan did for a living, however, her husband, Robert, was the head of the French-American School of New York.

While specific details about Leonhardt’s childhood are unavailable, it is known that he attended the Ivy League prep institution, Horace Mann School, in Riverdale, New York, graduating in 1990. He subsequently went on to attend the prestigious New Haven, Connecticut, Ivy League school, Yale University, where he studied Applied Mathematics.

During his time at Yale, David Leonhardt served as editor-in-chief of the Yale Daily News. By 1994, he had completed the requirements to be awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in applied mathematics, prompting him to go ahead and start a career in journalism. Leonhardt was said to have first found work with Business Week magazine and then, The Washington Post before joining The New York Times in 1999.

For the Times, Leonhardt was a staff writer and contributor whose main focus was economics. He was famously known for writing the magazine’s business section economics column titled “Economics Scene.” He also contributed with articles for the Times Sunday Magazine.

Later on in his career with the Times, in 2011 to be exact, David Leonhardt was appointed as the Times’ Washington bureau chief. He held the position for two years before stepping down to become Founding/Managing Editor of a new venture by the Times named The Upshot, which emphasizes data visualization and graphics to offer an analytical approach to the day’s news.

Facts About The American Journalist

1. Family – Wife and Children

David Leonhardt is happily married to his wife, Laura. Details about their relationship, like how and when they first met each other and the date they exchanged marital vows are not known. What is, however, known is that the couple has welcomed three children to the world.

2. Awards and Achievements

David Leonhardt has bagged numerous awards throughout his journalism career. The first recognition he received in his career was a Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism in the Business Journalism category. The Chicago Headline Club gave him the award in 1998 for a story he wrote as a journalist with the Business Week magazine about problems at American fast food franchise, McDonald’s.

In 2003, Leonhardt and a number of other Times reporters who covered corporate scandals in the United States were part of a team that finished as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A few years later, in 2007, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers named him the winner of the “Best in Business Journalism Contest” for his New York Times column. He won the same award again in 2009, the same year he also received the Gerald Loeb Award for magazine writing for his New York Times Magazine article, “Obamanomics.”

David Leonhardt
David Leonhardt interviewing President Obama (Image Source)

In 2010, David Leonhardt again found himself to be a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, this time for Commentary for his economic columns. As things would pan out, the journalist eventually won the award the following year in 2011 for Commentary.

Read Also: Susan Orlean – Biography, Facts About The American Journalist

3. Books and Other Endeavors

In 2013, David Leonhardt wrote a 15,000-word e-book titled “Here’s the Deal: How Washington Can Solve the Deficit and Spur Growth.” The e-book, which was co-published by Byliner and The Times as a part of a new series of short e-books from both parties, was about the federal budget deficit and the importance of economic growth. The book received rave reviews from critics who all agreed in calling it a great place to start to understand the budgetary landscape.

In October 2008, Leonhardt began hosting a weekly Opinion podcast titled “The Argument”, with fellow journalists and New York Times columnists, Ross Douthat and Michelle Goldberg.


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