Jon Meacham
Photo of Jon Meacham
Jon Meacham, 2014
Born Jon Ellis Meacham
(1969-05-20) May 20, 1969 (age 47)
Chattanooga, Tennessee, US
Occupation Writer, journalist, editor
Nationality American
Education BA
Alma mater The University of the South
Notable awards Pulitzer Prize
Years active 1995–present
Spouse Margaret Keith Smythe Meacham
Children 3

Jon Ellis Meacham (/ˈməm/; born May 20, 1969) is executive editor and executive vice president at Random House.[1] He is a former editor-in-chief of Newsweek, a contributing editor to Time magazine, editor-at-large of WNET, and a commentator on politics, history, and religious faith in America. He won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House.

Meacham also wrote Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power (2012), which appeared on many publications' year-end lists of the best nonfiction.


Early lifeEdit

Jon Ellis Meacham was born on May 20, 1969 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the son of Jere Ellis Meacham and Linda McBrayer Meacham, an executive.[2][3] He attended St. Nicholas School, the McCallie School and the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, where he was an initiate of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.[4] He graduated summa cum laude in 1991 with a degree in English Literature, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.[5]


Meacham joined Newsweek as a writer in January 1995, became national affairs editor in June of that year, and was named managing editor in November 1998. In September 2006, he was promoted to editor-in-chief. In August 2010 Meacham announced that he would depart Newsweek upon completion of the sale of the magazine by the Washington Post Company.[6][7][8] He has also written essays and reviews for The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times Book Review.

Meacham speaking in 2016

His presidential biography of Andrew Jackson won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography.[9] His 2015 biography of George H. W. Bush received mixed reviews: some praised its "historical rehabilitation of its subject",[10] while others criticized it for being insufficiently hard-nosed in its depiction of its subject.[11] He has appeared at numerous events and also delivered the undergraduate commencement address for the Fall Class of 2016 at the University of Georgia on December 16.[12]


From May 2010 to April 2011, Meacham was co-host with Alison Stewart of Need to Know on PBS.[13] He is also a frequent guest on MSNBC's Morning Joe[14][15] and has appeared multiple times on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher.[16][17][18]


The Anti-Defamation League awarded Meacham the Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Prize. He received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University in 2005 and holds five other honorary doctorates.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

Meacham and his wife, Margaret Keith Smythe Meacham, a native of Mississippi, former executive director of the Harlem Day Charter School, and a former programs officer with the Fund for Public Schools in New York, live in Nashville, Tennessee,[19] with their three children. Meacham is a communicant of Saint Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue, where he has served on the Vestry of the 180-year-old Episcopal parish.[20]




  1. ^ American Lion won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Biography.[9]


  1. ^ Bosman, Julie (October 20, 2010). "Ex-Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham Heads to Random House". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Meacham, Jere Ellis". Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ Putnam, Yolanda (April 21, 2009). "Chattanooga native Meacham picks up Pulitzer Prize". Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  4. ^ Alpha Tau Omega National Directory. White Plains: Harris Publishing Co., 1994, p. 442.
  5. ^ "Meacham biography". Newsweek. June 15, 2010. Retrieved May 6, 2011. 
  6. ^ Calderone, Michael (April 24, 2009). "Newsweek's Meacham prepares to leave the magazine | The Upshot Yahoo! News". Retrieved May 6, 2011. 
  7. ^ Jon Meacham (June 15, 2010). "Authors". Newsweek. Retrieved May 6, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Commentary Magazine article". Commentary Magazine article. October 16, 2010. Retrieved May 6, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "The 2009 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Biography or Autobiography". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2013-11-26. With biographical blurb and dustjacket description.
  10. ^ Lozada, Carlos (November 13, 2015). "The opportunities and opportunism of George H. W. Bush". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 29, 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Senior, Jennifer (2015-11-15). "Review: In 'Destiny and Power,' George H.W. Bush Epitomizes a Vanishing G.O.P.". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  12. ^ "Pulitzer Prize-winning historian to give fall Commencement address at UGA | UGA Today". Retrieved 2017-02-27. 
  13. ^ "Alison Stewart Leaving 'Need To Know' on PBS". August 29, 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Joe: Donald Trump's hostile takeover of the Republican Party". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  15. ^ "Meacham: Bush knew exactly what he was saying". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  16. ^ Real Time with Bill Maher (2016-01-22), Real Time with Bill Maher: Overtime – January 22, 2016 (HBO), retrieved 2016-06-30 
  17. ^ Real Time with Bill Maher (2015-04-17), Real Time with Bill Maher: Overtime – April 17, 2015 (HBO), retrieved 2016-06-30 
  18. ^ "Ep. 350 April 17, 2015 Real Time With Bill Maher". HBO. Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  19. ^ "Headline Homes: Nashville's top sales, December 2011 | Nashville Post". Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  20. ^ "Jon Meacham: About". Jon Meacham. Retrieved November 22, 2015. 

External linksEdit