|Chair of the Broadcasting Board of Governors|
July 2, 2010 –January 27, 2012
|Preceded by||James K. Glassman|
|Succeeded by||Jeff Shell|
|Born||May 20, 1952|
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Cathy Wright Isaacson|
|Parents||Betty and Irwin Isaacson|
|Residence||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Alma mater|| Harvard University (AB)|
Pembroke College, Oxford (BA)
|Awards|| Benjamin Franklin Medal (Royal Society of Arts) (2013)|
The Nichols-Chancellor's Medal (2015)
Walter Isaacson (born May 20, 1952)is an American author, journalist, and professor. He has been the President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C., the chair and CEO of CNN, and the editor of Time .
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, he attended Harvard University and the University of Oxford as a Rhodes scholar at Pembroke College. He is the author of The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race (2021), Leonardo da Vinci (2017), The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (2014), Steve Jobs (2011), American Sketches (2009), Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003), and Kissinger: A Biography (1992). He is the co-author with Evan Thomas of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986).
Isaacson is a professor at Tulane University and an advisory partner at Perella Weinberg Partners, a New York City-based financial services firm.He was vice chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, which oversaw the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina, chaired the government board that runs Voice of America, and was a member of the Defense Innovation Board.
Isaacson was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Irwin and Betty Lee (Seff) Isaacson.He attended New Orleans' Isidore Newman School, where he was student body president, Deep Springs College for the Telluride Association Summer Program (TASP), and Harvard University, where he majored in History and Literature and graduated in 1974. At Harvard, Isaacson was the president of the Signet Society, member of the Harvard Lampoon , and resident of Lowell House. He later attended the University of Oxford as a Rhodes scholar at Pembroke College, where he studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) and graduated with First-Class Honours.
Isaacson began his career in journalism at The Sunday Times in London, followed by a position with the New Orleans Times-Picayune . He joined Time magazine in 1978, serving as the magazine's political correspondent, national editor, and editor of new media before becoming the magazine's 14th editor in 1996.
Isaacson became chairman and CEO of CNN in July 2001, replacing Tom Johnson, and only two months later guided CNN through the events of 9/11.Shortly after his appointment at CNN, Isaacson attracted attention for seeking the views of Republican Party leaders on Capitol Hill regarding criticisms that CNN broadcast content that was unfair to Republicans or conservatives. He was quoted in Roll Call magazine as saying: "I was trying to reach out to a lot of Republicans who feel that CNN has not been as open to covering Republicans, and I wanted to hear their concerns." The CEO's conduct was criticized by the Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) organization, which said that Isaacson's "pandering" behavior was endowing conservative politicians with power over CNN.
In January 2003, he announced that he would step down as president at CNN to become president of the Aspen Institute.Jim Walton replaced Isaacson as president of CNN.
Isaacson served as the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute from 2003 until 2018, when he announced that he would step down to become a professor of history at Tulane University and an advisory partner at the New York City financial services firm Perella Weinberg Partners.In November 2017, the Aspen Institute named Dan Porterfield, the president of Franklin and Marshall College, as Isaacson's successor.
In March 2017, Isaacson launched a podcast with Dell Technologies called Trailblazers, which focuses on technology's effects on business.In 2018, Isaacson was named as a cohost of "Amanpour & Company," a new show on PBS and CNN that replaced "The Charlie Rose Show."
Isaacson is the author of multiple published books including American Sketches (2009), Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003) and Kissinger: A Biography (1992). He additionally co-authored with Evan Thomas the work The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986).
On October 24, 2011, Steve Jobs , Isaacson's authorized biography of Apple Inc.'s Jobs, was published by Simon & Schuster, only several weeks after Jobs' death. It became an international best-seller, breaking all records for sales of a biography. The book was based on over forty interviews with Jobs over a two-year period up until shortly before his death, and on conversations with friends, family members, and business rivals of the entrepreneur.
In October 2014, Isaacson published The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution , which explores the history of the key technological innovations that are prominent in the digital revolution, most notably the parallel developments of the computer and the Internet. It became a New York Times bestseller.Writing for the New York Times, Janet Maslin described the author as "a kindred spirit to the visionaries and enthusiasts" who Isaacson wrote about.
He is the editor of Profiles in Leadership: Historians on the Elusive Quality of Greatness (2010, W. W. Norton).
His biography of Leonardo da Vinci was published on October 17, 2017, to positive reviews from critics.In August 2017, Paramount Pictures won a bidding war against Universal Pictures for the rights to adapt Isaacson's biography of da Vinci. The studio bought the rights under its deal with Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way Productions, which said that it planned to produce the film with DiCaprio as the star. Screenwriter John Logan (The Aviator, Gladiator) has been tapped to pen the script.
In October 2005, the Governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco, appointed Isaacson vice chairman of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, a board that oversaw spending on the recovery from Hurricane Katrina. In December 2007, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the chairman of the U.S.-Palestinian Partnership, which seeks to create economic and educational opportunities in the Palestinian territories.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appointed him vice-chair of the Partners for a New Beginning, which encourages private-sector investments and partnerships in the Muslim world.
He also served as the co-chair of the U.S.-Vietnamese Dialogue on Agent Orange, which in January 2008 announced completion of a project to contain the dioxin left behind by the U.S. at the Da Nang air base and plans to build health centers and a dioxin laboratory in the affected regions.In 2008, he was appointed to be a member of the Advisory Committee of the National Institutes of Health. In 2009, he was appointed by President Obama to be Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which runs Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and the other international broadcasts of the U.S. government; he served until January 2012. In 2014, he was appointed by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to be the co-chair of the New Orleans Tricentennial Commission, which is planning the city's 300th-anniversary commemoration in 2018. In 2015, he was appointed to the board of My Brother's Keeper Alliance, which seeks to carry out President Obama's anti-poverty and youth opportunity initiatives. In 2016, he was appointed by Mayor Mitch Landrieu and confirmed by the City Council to be a member of the New Orleans City Planning Commission. He is a member of the U.S. Department of Defense Innovation Advisory Board. In 2018, he was appointed by New Orleans mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell to be co-chair of her transition team.
Isaacson is an advisory partner at Perella Weinberg, a financial services firm. He is the chairman emeritus of the board of Teach for America and is on the boards of United Airlines, Halliburton Labs, The New Orleans Advocate/Times-Picayune, New Schools New Orleans, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Institution for Science and the Society of American Historians, of which he served as president in 2012.
In March 2019, Isaacson became the editor-at-large and senior adviser for Arcadia Publishing, where he will be promoting books for the company as well as editing, new strategy development, and partnerships.
Isaacson is an Associate of the History of Science Department and a member of the Lowell House Senior Common Room at Harvard University. He is also an Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford. Isaacson teaches a course at Tulane called History Of the Digital Revolution, an open seminar filled with discussion about technology, culture, and the progression of society.
Isaacson's book Steve Jobs about the life of the entrepreneur, earned Isaacson the 2012 Gerald Loeb Award.
In 2012, he was selected as one of the Time 100, the magazine's list of the most influential people in the world.Isaacson is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was awarded its 2013 Benjamin Franklin Medal. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and an Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford.
In 2014, the National Endowment for the Humanities selected Isaacson for the Jefferson Lecture, the U.S. federal government's highest honor for achievement in the humanities. The title of Isaacson's lecture was "The Intersection of the Humanities and the Sciences."
He has honorary degrees from Tufts University, Cooper Union, William & Mary, Franklin University Switzerland, University of New Orleans, University of South Carolina, City University of New York (Hunter College), Pomona College, Lehigh University, Duke University, and Colorado Mountain College, where the Isaacson School of Media and Communications is named after him.He was the 2015 recipient of The Nichols-Chancellor's Medal at Vanderbilt University.
|Booknotes interview with Isaacson on Kissinger, September 27, 1992, C-SPAN|
|Louisiana Legends interview with Isaacson by Gus Weil, April 5, 1998, LDMA|
|Presentation by Isaacson on Benjamin Franklin, July 22, 2003, C-SPAN|
|Interview with Isaacson on Benjamin Franklin, October 4, 2003, C-SPAN|
|Presentation by Isaacson on Benjamin Franklin's legacy, May 11, 2016, C-SPAN|
|Presentation by Isaacson on Einstein, April 12, 2007, C-SPAN|
|Presentation by Isaacson on Einstein, November 10, 2007, C-SPAN|
|Presentation by Isaacson on Einstein, September 27, 2008, C-SPAN|
|Presentation by Isaacson on American Sketches, December 1, 2009, C-SPAN|
|Presentation by Isaacson on Steve Jobs, December 13, 2011, C-SPAN|
|Presentation by Isaacson on Steve Jobs, September 22, 2012, C-SPAN|
|Interview with Isaacson on The Innovators, May 30, 2014, C-SPAN|
|Interview with Isaacson on The Innovators, October 14, 2014, C-SPAN|
|Presentation by Isaacson on The Innovators, November 22, 2014, C-SPAN|
|Presentation by Isaacson on Leonardo da Vinci, November 18, 2017, C-SPAN|
Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A polymath, he was a leading writer, printer, political philosopher, politician, Freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions. He founded many civic organizations, including the Library Company, Philadelphia's first fire department, and the University of Pennsylvania.
Bill Atkinson is an American computer engineer and photographer. Atkinson worked at Apple Computer from 1978 to 1990.
Leonardo da Vinci was an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who was active as a painter, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor and architect. While his fame initially rested on his achievements as a painter, he also became known for his notebooks, in which he made drawings and notes on a variety of subjects, including anatomy, astronomy, botany, cartography, painting, and paleontology. Leonardo's genius epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal, and his collective works compose a contribution to later generations of artists matched only by that of his younger contemporary, Michelangelo.
Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio is an American actor, film producer and environmentalist. He has often played unconventional roles, particularly in biopics and period films. As of 2019, his films have grossed $7.2 billion worldwide, and he has placed eight times in annual rankings of the world's highest-paid actors.
The Lady with an Ermine is a portrait painting widely attributed to the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci. Dated to c. 1489–1491, the work is painted in oils on a panel of walnut wood. Its subject is Cecilia Gallerani, a mistress of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan; Leonardo was painter to the Sforza court at the time of its execution. It is one of only four surviving portraits of women painted by Leonardo, the others being Ginevra de' Benci, La Belle Ferronnière and the Mona Lisa.
The Portrait of a Musician is an unfinished painting widely attributed to the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci, dated to c. 1483–1487. Produced while Leonardo was in Milan, the work is painted in oils, and perhaps tempera, on a small panel of walnut wood. It is his only known male portrait painting, and the identity of its sitter has been closely debated among scholars.
The Baptism of Christ is a painting finished around 1475 in the studio of the Italian Renaissance painter Andrea del Verrocchio and generally ascribed to him and his pupil Leonardo da Vinci. Some art historians discern the hands of other members of Verrocchio's workshop in the painting as well.
Andrea del Verrocchio's bronze statue of David was most likely made between 1473 and 1475. It was commissioned by the Medici family. It is sometimes claimed that Verrocchio modeled the statue after his pupil Leonardo da Vinci.
The Isleworth Mona Lisa is an early sixteenth-century oil on canvas painting depicting the same subject as Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, though with the subject depicted as being a younger age. The painting is thought to have been brought from Italy to England in the 1780s, and came into public view in 1913 when the English connoisseur Hugh Blaker acquired it from a manor house in Somerset, where it was thought to have been hanging for over a century. Since the 1910s, experts in various fields, as well as the collectors who have acquired ownership of the painting, have asserted that the major elements of the painting are the work of Leonardo himself, as an earlier version of the Mona Lisa.
Gorilla Glass is a brand of chemically strengthened glass developed and manufactured by Corning, now in its seventh generation, designed to be thin, light and damage-resistant. As a brand, Gorilla Glass is unique to Corning, but close equivalents exist, including AGC Inc.'s Dragontrail and Schott AG's Xensation.
Da Vinci's Demons is a historical fantasy drama series that presents a fictional account of Leonardo da Vinci's early life. The series was conceived by David S. Goyer and stars Tom Riley in the title role. It was developed and produced in collaboration with BBC Worldwide and was shot in Wales. The series has been distributed to over 120 countries.
Steve Jobs is the authorized self-titled biography of Steve Jobs. The book was written at the request of Jobs by Walter Isaacson, a former executive at CNN and TIME who has written best-selling biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein.
Salvator Mundi is a painting attributed in whole or in part to the Italian High Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci, dated to c. 1499–1510. Long thought to be a copy of a lost original veiled with overpainting, it was rediscovered, restored, and included in Luke Syson's major Leonardo exhibition at the National Gallery, London, in 2011–12. Christie's claimed just after selling the work that most leading scholars consider it to be an original work by Leonardo, but this attribution has been disputed by other specialists, some of whom posit that he only contributed certain elements.
Samuel Keimer (1689–1742) was an English printer and emigrant. He was the original founder of the Pennsylvania Gazette. On October 2, 1729, Benjamin Franklin bought this newspaper.
Founded in 2005, the Aspen Ideas Festival (AIF) is a week-long event held in Aspen, Colorado in the United States. The Aspen Ideas Festival program of events includes discussions, seminars, panels, and tutorials from journalists, designers, innovators, politicians, diplomats, presidents, judges, musicians, artists, and writers.
The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution is an overview of the history of computer science and the Digital Revolution. It was written by Walter Isaacson, and published in 2014 by Simon & Schuster.
Einstein: His Life and Universe is a non-fiction book authored by American historian and journalist Walter Isaacson. The biographical analysis of Albert Einstein's life and legacy was published by Simon & Schuster in 2007, and it has received a generally positive critical reception from multiple fronts, praise appearing from an official Amazon.com review as well as in publications such as The Guardian and Physics Today.
The Franklin Project was a policy program of the Aspen Institute from October 2012 to December 2015, that focused on advancing national service in the United States. Walter Isaacson called the project the "biggest idea" to come out of the Aspen Ideas Festival during his tenure as CEO of the Aspen Institute. In January 2016, the project merged with ServiceNation and the Service Year Exchange project of the National Conference on Citizenship to form Service Year Alliance.
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life is a non-fiction book authored by American historian and journalist Walter Isaacson. Published in 2003 by Simon & Schuster, the biographical work details the life and times of prominent U.S. statesman Benjamin Franklin. The book has received praise from multiple publications including Foreign Affairs and The Guardian.
Ken Segall is an author and advertising creative director. Specializing in technology marketing, Segall was Steve Jobs' agency creative director for 12 years spanning NeXT and Apple, and also served as worldwide creative director at agencies for Dell, Intel and IBM.
Paramount has set John Logan to adapt the Walter Isaacson book Leonardo da Vinci as a star vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio to play the painter/scientist. DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson [Jennifer Davisson Killoran] are producing through their Appian Way banner.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will serve as the Chair of PNB. Walter Isaacson (President of The Aspen Institute) and Muhtar Kent (Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company) will serve as Vice-Chairs.
$300 million ($352 million in 2019) for Agent Orange fund
Board and Leadership Team: Walter Isaacson, CEO, Aspen Institute
Executive Board, 2011-2012 [...] Officers: Walter Isaacson, President
Business Books Winner: Walter Isaacson for "Steve Jobs" published by Simon & Schuster
[W]hen I first started writing about Benjamin Franklin, I thought of him as a writer, a humanities type, somebody interested in governance. I did realize that he was probably the most important experimental scientist of his time. Both with the electricity experiment and so many of his other inventions. And I realize that a Benjamin Franklin or a Thomas Jefferson would have thought people philistines if they didn’t appreciate the beauty of science. And likewise, Albert Einstein, a great scientist would have thought people philistines if they were scientists and didn’t appreciate the beauty of Goethe or Mozart, or all of the literature or music that he loved.
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