Sylvia Nasar Biography & Facts
Sylvia Nasar (born 17 August 1947) is an Uzbek German-born American journalist. She is best known for her biography of John Forbes Nash Jr., A Beautiful Mind, for which she won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography. Nasar currently serves as Knight Professor Emerita at Columbia University's School of Journalism.
Early life and history
Nasar was born in Rosenheim, Germany, to a Bavarian mother and an Uzbek father, Rusi Nasar, who later joined the CIA as an intelligence officer. Her family immigrated to the United States in 1951, then moved to Ankara, Turkey, in 1960. She graduated with a BA in literature from Antioch College in 1970 and earned a Master's degree in economics at New York University in 1976. For four years, she did research with Nobel Laureate Wassily Leontief. She joined Fortune magazine as a staff writer in 1983, became a columnist for U.S. News & World Report in 1990, and was an economic correspondent for the New York Times from 1991 to 1999. She was the first John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Business Journalism at Columbia University.
In March 2013, Nasar filed a lawsuit accusing the university of misdirecting $4.5 million in funds over the last decade from the same Knight endowment which pays her salary. The New York Times reported, "In her suit, Ms. Nasar said that after she complained about the misspent funds, [a Columbia University official] "intimidated and harassed" her by telling her that the Knight Foundation "was dissatisfied with her performance as Knight chair because Knight objected to her work on books."She has three adult children, Clara, Lily and Jack, and lives in Tarrytown, New York. Her husband is Fordham University economist Darryl McLeod.
A Beautiful Mind
In 1998, Nasar published A Beautiful Mind, a biography of Nobel Prize-winning economist and mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr. The book describes many aspects of Nash's life and personality and examines the stresses of severe mental illness. The book won the 1998 National Book Critics Circle Award for biography.
Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius
Nasar's second book, Grand Pursuit, was published in 2011. It is a historical narrative which sets forth Nasar's view that economics rescued mankind from squalor and deprivation by placing its material circumstances in its own hands rather than in Fate. It won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Science and technology.
On 28 August 2006 The New Yorker published Nasar's article "Manifold Destiny", which contained the only interview with Grigori Perelman, who solved the Poincaré conjecture and declined the 2006 Fields Medal. The article examined Fields Medalist Shing-Tung Yau's response to Perelman's proof. Some mathematicians wrote letters in defense of Yau over Nasar's portrayal, and Yau threatened to file a lawsuit, but no suit was filed.
Awards and honors
2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize (Science and technology), Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius
1999 Rhône-Poulenc Prize, nominated, A Beautiful Mind
1998 National Book Critics Circle Award for biography, A Beautiful Mind
1998 Pulitzer Prize for biography, nominated, A Beautiful MindWorks
A Beautiful Mind: A Biography of John Forbes Nash Jr., Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, Simon & Schuster, 1998. ISBN 0-684-81906-6
Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius, Simon & Schuster, Sept. 13, 2011. ISBN 978-0-684-87298-8References
Two Centuries of Economic History in Four Minutes
Sylvia Nasar Official Website
Sylvia Nasar-By the Book
Appearances on C-SPAN
Columbia University Faculty Page
"Manifold Destiny" by Sylvia Nasar & David Gruber, The New Yorker
Sylvia Nasar at IMDb
A film clip "The Open Mind - "A Beautiful Mind" by Sylvia Nasar (September 27, 2007)" is available at the Internet Archive. Discover the Sylvia Nasar popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Sylvia Nasar books.