Thomas L. FriedmanThomas L. Friedman

Thomas L. Friedman is an internationally renowned author, reporter and columnist, the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes and the author of five bestselling books, among them From Beirut to Jerusalem and The World is Flat.


Thomas L. Friedman, born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1953, attended the University of Minnesota and Brandeis University, graduating summa cum laude in 1975 with a degree in Mediterranean studies. Following his graduation from Brandeis, Friedman attended St. Antony's College, Oxford University, on a Marshall Scholarship. In 1978, he received an M.Phil. degree in modern Middle East studies from Oxford. That summer he joined the London Bureau of United Press International (UPI), where he worked as a general assignment reporter. From 1979 to May 1981, he lived in Beirut while he covered the civil war there.


In May 1981, Friedman left Beirut and joined the staff of The New York Times in Manhattan. From May 1981 to April 1982, Friedman worked as a general assignment financial reporter specializing in OPEC and oil-related news. In April 1982, he was appointed Beirut Bureau Chief for The New York Times, a post he took up six weeks before the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. For the next two-plus years, he covered the extraordinary events that followed the invasion—the departure of the PLO from Beirut, the massacre of Palestinians in Beirut's Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, and the suicide bombings of the U.S. embassy in Beirut and the U.S. Marine compound in Beirut. For his work, he was awarded the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting.


In June 1984, Friedman was transferred to Jerusalem, where he served as the Times’ Jerusalem Bureau Chief until February 1988. As a result of his work there, he was awarded a second Pulitzer Prize for international reporting and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship to write a book about the Middle East. The resulting book was From Beirut to Jerusalem, which won the 1989 National Book Award for nonfiction and the 1989 Overseas Press Club Award for the best book on foreign policy.


After returning to the United States, where he covered both the State Department and the White House as the Times correspondent, Friedman became the Times’ Foreign Affairs columnist in 1995, a post he holds today. His columns reflect a belief that the forces shaping international relations area tension of the very old (the passions of nationalism, ethnicity, religion, geography, and culture) with the very new (technology, the Internet, and the globalization of markets and finance); he outlined this framework in a 1999 book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization.


In 2001, Friedman was awarded a third Pulitzer Prize for his columns examining the Afghanistan war, terrorism, and the clash of democratic Western societies with fundamentalist Muslim ones. In April 2005, FSG published his fourth book, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. The book became a #1 New York Times bestseller and has now sold more than 4 million copies in thirty-seven languages.


Friedman's most recent book is Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution—and How It Can Renew America. Published in hardcover in 2008, it became his fifth consecutive bestseller, and was cited by the White House as a book that President Barack Obama was reading on his 2009 summer vacation.


Friedman and his wife, Ann, reside in Bethesda, Maryland. He is a member of the Brandeis University Board of Trustees and the Pulitzer Prize Board. He was a visiting lecturer at Harvard University in 2000 and 2005.