Walter Isaacson is an American author and journalist best known for his biographies of Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, and other iconic personalities. He is the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.
Isaacson was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1952 and educated at Harvard University and the University of Oxford. He began his career in journalism at The Sunday Times of London and then as a political writer for TIME magazine, where he served as managing editor from 1995 to 2001 and editor from 2001 to 2002.
In 2003, Isaacson published his first book, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, which was both critically and commercially successful and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography. His second book, Einstein: His Life and Universe, was published in 2007 and was a New York Times Best Seller.
In 2011, Isaacson published his biography of Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs, which was a critical and commercial success. The book, which was excerpted in TIME, was optioned for a movie by Sony Pictures. In 2013, he released The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, which was a New York Times Best Seller.
In addition to his books, Isaacson has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The New Yorker. He has appeared on television programs such as The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and Real Time with Bill Maher.
Isaacson is a prolific speaker, delivering keynotes at organizations such as Google, Microsoft, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Constitution Center, the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and many others. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Isaacson is also a board member of several non-profit organizations, such as Teach for America, the National Constitution Center, the Aspen Institute, and the Brookings Institution. He is a former chair of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees the Voice of America and other international broadcasting outlets.
In 2015, Isaacson was appointed to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology by President Barack Obama. He is also a member of the G7 Task Force on the Digital Economy.
Isaacson is a frequent contributor to various media outlets, including NPR’s Morning Edition, and he has been featured on the cover of Newsweek and TIME. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism, the Henry Luce Award, the Digital Book World Award for Non-Fiction, and the World Technology Award for Media.