John Avlon is senior columnist and political director for Newsweek and The Daily Beast as well as a CNN contributor. He is the author of Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics and Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America as well as editor of the anthology Deadline Artists: America’s Greatest Newspaper Columns. Previously, he was a columnist and associate editor for the New York Sun and chief speechwriter for New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ award for best online column in 2012.
After the attacks of September 11th, 2001, he and his team were responsible for writing the eulogies for all firefighters and police officers murdered in the destruction of the World Trade Center. Avlon’s essay on the attacks, “The Resilient City” concluded the anthology Empire City: New York through the Centuries and won acclaim as “the single best essay written in the wake of 9/11.”
His first book, Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics was described by Barron’s as “a rewarding portrait of a political trend the established parties have tried to ignore” and hailed by TheModerateVoice.com as “the best political book ever on American centrist voters.”
Wingnuts: How The Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America was praised by President Bill Clinton, who said “Wingnuts offers a clear and comprehensive review of the forces on the outer edges of the political spectrum that shape and distort our political debate. Shedding more heat than light they drive frustrated alienated citizens away from the reasoned discourse that can produce real solutions to our problems.”
The two Deadline Artists anthologies, which Avlon co-edited with Jesse Angelo and Errol Louis won acclaim from the Washington Post as “one of the greatest collections of newspaper articles ever compiled” while the American Journalism Review described it as “the most addictive journalism book ever.”
Avlon has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, CNN, Real Time with Bill Maher, PBS, and C-Span. He has spoken at the Kennedy School of Government, the Citadel, the State Department’s visiting journalist program, and civic organizations around the nation.
He serves on the board of Citizens Union of New York and The Bronx Academy of Letters as well as the advisory board of the Theodore Roosevelt Association. He was appointed to the New York City Voter Assistance Advisory Committee in 2011. Avlon is also a co-founder of No Labels – a group of Democrats, Republicans and Independents dedicated to the politics of problem-solving and making government work again.
In a profile, author Stephen Marshall wrote “Avlon talks about politics the way ESPN anchors wrap up sports highlights.” Columnist Kathleen Parker wrote, “Americans who are fed up with the Ann Coulter/Michael Moore school of debate and are looking for someone to articulate a commonsense, middle path, may have found their voice in John Avlon.”
He is married to Margaret Hoover, the author of American Individualism. They live in New York City.