Charles Krauthammer Biography & Facts
Charles Krauthammer (; March 13, 1950 – June 21, 2018) was an American political columnist. A moderate liberal who turned independent conservative as a political pundit, Krauthammer won the Pulitzer Prize for his columns in The Washington Post in 1987. His weekly column was syndicated to more than 400 publications worldwide. While in his first year studying medicine at Harvard Medical School, Krauthammer became permanently paralyzed from the waist down after a diving board accident that severed his spinal cord at cervical spinal nerve 5. After spending 14 months recovering in a hospital, he returned to medical school, graduating to become a psychiatrist involved in the creation of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III in 1980. He joined the Carter administration in 1978 as a director of psychiatric research, eventually becoming the speechwriter to Vice President Walter Mondale in 1980.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Krauthammer embarked on a career as a columnist and political commentator. In 1985, he began writing a weekly column for The Washington Post, which earned him the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for his "witty and insightful columns on national issues." He was a weekly panelist on the PBS news program Inside Washington from 1990 until it ceased production in December 2013. Krauthammer had been a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard, a Fox News contributor, and a nightly panelist on Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News.
Krauthammer received acclaim for his writing on foreign policy, among other matters. He was a leading conservative voice and proponent of United States military and political engagement on the global stage, coining the term Reagan Doctrine and advocating both the Gulf War and the Iraq War.
In August 2017, due to his battle with cancer, Krauthammer stopped writing his column and serving as a Fox News contributor. He died on June 21, 2018.
Early life and career
Krauthammer was born on March 13, 1950, in the New York City borough of Manhattan. His father, Shulim Krauthammer (November 23, 1904 – June 1987), was from Bolekhiv, Ukraine (then the Austro-Hungarian Empire), and later became a naturalized citizen of France. His mother, Thea (Horowitz), was from Antwerp, Belgium. The Krauthammer family was a French-speaking household. When he was 5, the Krauthammers moved to Montreal. Through the school year, they resided in Montreal and spent the summers in Long Beach, New York. Both of his parents were Orthodox Jews, and he graduated from Herzliah High School.Krauthammer attended McGill University in Montreal, graduating in 1970 with first-class honours in economics and political science. At that time, McGill University was a hotbed of radical sentiment, something that Krauthammer said influenced his dislike of political extremism. "I became very acutely aware of the dangers, the hypocrisies, and sort of the extremism of the political extremes. And it cleansed me very early in my political evolution of any romanticism." He later said: "I detested the extreme Left and extreme Right, and found myself somewhere in the middle." The following year, after graduating from McGill, he studied as a Commonwealth Scholar in politics at Balliol College, Oxford, before returning to the United States to attend medical school at Harvard.A diving accident during his first year of medical school left Krauthammer paralyzed from the waist down. He remained with his Harvard Medical School class during his hospitalization, graduating in 1975. From 1975 through 1978, Krauthammer was a resident in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, serving as chief resident his final year. During his time as chief resident, he noted a variant of manic depression (bipolar disorder) that he identified and named secondary mania. He published his findings in the Archives of General Psychiatry. He also co-authored a path-finding study on the epidemiology of mania.In 1978, Krauthammer relocated to Washington, D.C., to direct planning in psychiatric research under the Carter administration. He began contributing articles about politics to The New Republic and, in 1980, served as a speechwriter to Vice President Walter Mondale. He contributed to the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In 1984, he was board certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Career as columnist and political commentator
In 1979, Krauthammer joined The New Republic as both a writer and editor. In 1983, he began writing essays for Time magazine, including one on the Reagan Doctrine, which first brought him national acclaim as a writer. Krauthammer began writing regular editorials for The Washington Post in 1985 and became a nationally syndicated columnist. Krauthammer coined and developed the term Reagan Doctrine in 1985, and he defined the U.S. role as sole superpower in his essay "The Unipolar Moment", published shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.In 1990, Krauthammer became a panelist for the weekly PBS political roundtable Inside Washington, remaining with the show until it ceased production in December 2013. Krauthammer also appeared on Fox News Channel as a contributor for many years.Krauthammer's 2004 speech "Democratic Realism", which was delivered to the American Enterprise Institute when Krauthammer won the Irving Kristol Award, set out a framework for tackling the post-9/11 world, focusing on the promotion of democracy in the Middle East.In 2013, Krauthammer published Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics. An immediate bestseller, the book remained on The New York Times bestseller list for 38 weeks and spent 10 weeks in a row at number one.His son Daniel is responsible for the final edits on a book that was posthumously released, The Point of It All: A Lifetime of Great Loves and Endeavors, that was published in December 2018.
Awards and accolades
Krauthammer's New Republic essays won him the "National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism". The weekly column he began writing for The Washington Post in 1985 won him the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1987. On June 14, 1993, he was awarded the Honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from McGill University.In 1999, Krauthammer received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement. His acceptance speech at the 1999 Summit in Washington, D.C., is included in his book, The Point of It All: A Lifetime of Great Loves and Endeavors, published after his death.In 2006, the Financial Times named Krauthammer the most influential commentator in America, stating that "Krauthammer has influenced US foreign policy for more than two decades."
In 2009, Politico columnist Ben Smith wrote that Krauthammer had "emerged in the Age of Obama as a central conservative voice, the kind of leader of the opposition that economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman represented for the left duri.... Discover the Charles Krauthammer popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Charles Krauthammer books.