Samuel G. Freedman is an award-winning author, columnist, and professor. A columnist for The New York Times and a professor at Columbia University, he is the author of the seven acclaimed books, most recently Breaking The Line: The Season in Black College Football That Transformed the Game and Changed the Course of Civil Rights (2013). His previous books are Small Victories: The Real World of a Teacher, Her Students and Their High School (1990); Upon This Rock: The Miracles of a Black Church (1993); The Inheritance: How Three Families and America Moved from Roosevelt to Reagan and Beyond (1996); Jew vs. Jew: The Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry (2000); Who She Was: My Search for My Mother’s Life (2005); and Letters To A Young Journalist (2006).
Freedman’s eighth book – Dying Words: The AIDS Reporting of Jeff Schmalz and How It Transformed The New York Times – will be published in December 2015. With Kerry Donahue, Freedman is also co-producing a radio documentary of Dying Words.
Small Victories was a finalist for the 1990 National Book Award and The Inheritance was a finalist for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize. Upon This Rock won the 1993 Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism. Four of Freedman’s books have been listed among The New York Times’ Notable Books of the Year.
Jew vs. Jew won the National Jewish Book Award for Non-Fiction in 2001 and made the Publishers Weekly Religion Best-Sellers list. As a result of the book, Freedman was named one of the “Forward Fifty” most important American Jews in the year 2000 by the weekly Jewish newspaper The Forward.
Freedman was a staff reporter for The New York Times from 1981 through 1987 and currently writes the column “On Religion.” From 2004 through 2008, he wrote the “On Education” column, which won first prize in the Education Writers Association’s annual competition. He was also a regular columnist on American Jewish issues for the Jerusalem Post from 2005 through 2009. He has contributed to numerous other publications and websites, including The New Yorker, Daily Beast, New York, Rolling Stone, USA Today, Salon, Tablet, The Forward, and BeliefNet.
A tenured professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Freedman was named the nation's outstanding journalism educator in 1997 by the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2012, he received Columbia University’s coveted Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. Freedman’s class in book-writing has developed more than 70 authors, editors, and agents, and it has been featured in Publishers Weekly and the Christian Science Monitor. He is a board member of the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prizes and Religion News Service as well as a judge in the non-fiction category for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. Freedman has spoken at the Smithsonian Institution, Yale University, and UCLA, among other venues, and has appeared on National Public Radio, CNN, the PBS News Hour, MSNBC and ESPN.
Freedman holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which he received in May 1977. He lives in New York with his wife, Christia Chana Blomquist Freedman, and his children, Aaron and Sarah.