Michael Schudson grew up in Milwaukee, Wisc. He received a B.A. from Swarthmore College and M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard. He taught at the University of Chicago from 1976 to 1980 and at the University of California, San Diego from 1980 to 2009. From 2005 on, he split his teaching between UCSD and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, becoming a full-time member of the Columbia faculty in 2009.
He is the author of seven books and co-editor of three others concerning the history and sociology of the American news media, advertising, popular culture, Watergate and cultural memory. He is the recipient of a number of honors; he has been a Guggenheim fellow, a resident fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, and a MacArthur Foundation "genius" fellow. His most recent books are The Rise of the Right to Know: Politics and the Culture of Transparency 1945-1975 (Harvard, 2015) and (with C.W. Anderson and Leonard Downie, Jr.), The News Media: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford, 2016). In 2004, he received the Murray Edelman distinguished career award from the political communication section of the American Political Science Association and the International Communication Association.