Carolyn Hanley Hax[1] is an American writer and columnist for The Washington Post and author of the advice column Carolyn Hax (formerly titled Tell Me About It).

Carolyn Hax
Carolyn Hax in a program at the NHGRI in 2014
Carolyn Hax in a program at the NHGRI in 2014
Born (1966-12-05) December 5, 1966 (age 53)
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Occupationauthor, columnist

The column debuted in 1997 and is published daily and syndicated by The Washington Post Syndicate to more than 200 newspapers. Featuring cartoons by Hax's ex-husband, Nick Galifianakis, Tell Me About It originally provided advice targeted at readers under 30, but has since broadened its audience.

Hax hosts a weekly Friday web chat, Carolyn Hax Live, at the paper's website with selected transcripts published subsequently.


Born December 5, 1966, in Bridgeport, CT, Hax grew up in Trumbull, Connecticut, the youngest of four daughters. Her father, now retired, was director of research planning at Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, CT.[1] Hax graduated from Hopkins School in 1984 and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University (1988).[1]

Hax married her first husband, cartoonist Nick Galifianakis, in 1994.[1] They divorced in 2002. She then married her second husband, her childhood friend Ken Ackerman, who is the father of her twins, in November 2002.[2]


Hax was associate editor and news editor at the Army Times and copy editor and news editor at The Washington Post. In 2001, Hax published her first book, Tell Me About It: Lying, Sulking, and Getting Fat and 56 Other Things Not to Do While Looking for Love. Her essay "Peace and Carrots" was included in the 2006 anthology Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families (ed. Leslie Morgan Steiner; Random House, 2006).

Her first husband, Galifianakis, has provided a one panel cartoon for her columns since their inception. He has continued to do so, even though they have been divorced since 2002.

When Hax divorced Galifianakis in June 2002, she was already pregnant with twins, by Ackerman. Although she had been separated from Galifianakis for ten months, at the time she got pregnant, some of her readers were critical of Hax. Hax discussed her situation in her weekly online chat, Carolyn Hax Live.[2]

Galifianakis has publicly commented on their eight-year relationship as well, saying, "We were a great couple that could maybe be greater apart. The point of the column is not to keep people together; it's for people to be happy. And sometimes being happy means making that kind of adjustment, where maybe you're not together." Hax and Galifianakis continue to collaborate on the advice column.[3]

Hax and Ackerman reside in Massachusetts with their three children.[clarification needed]


  1. ^ a b c d "Weddings; Carolyn H. Hax, N. E. Galifianakis". The New York Times. June 26, 1994.
  2. ^ a b Wilson, Mike (12 January 2003). "In Her Own Defense". St. Petersburg Times.
  3. ^ "Cartoonist Sees Bad Relationships In A Funny Way". NPR, February 12, 2011.

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