Peter L.W. Osnos (born October 13, 1943) is an American journalist who is the founder of PublicAffairs Books.[1]

Peter L.W. Osnos
BornOctober 13, 1943
OccupationJournalist, Publisher
Spouse(s)Susan Sherer Osnos
ChildrenEvan Osnos
Katherine Osnos Sanford
RelativesAlbert W. Sherer Jr. (father-in-law)

Early lifeEdit

Osnos was born in India to a Jewish refugee family from Warsaw, Poland.[2] He is the son of Joseph Osnos and Marta Osnos, who later settled in New York.[3] Osnos graduated from Brandeis University and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.[4][5]


In 1965, Osnos began his journalism career as an editorial assistant to investigative journalist I. F. Stone on his weekly newsletter. From 1966 to 1984, Osnos worked for The Washington Post; he was a foreign correspondent in Vietnam, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom, and he also served as foreign editor and national editor.[6] Osnos was a regular commentator for National Public Radio's Morning Edition and co-host of Communiqué.[5] In 1984, he joined Random House, where he worked until 1996 as a senior editor, vice president, and associate publisher, and as publisher of the Times Books division. In 1997, he founded PublicAffairs. He served as Publisher and CEO until 2005 and, then, as Consulting Editor until December 31, 2020. Authors he has published or edited include former President Jimmy Carter,[7] Rosalynn Carter,[8] Sid Caesar, Clark Clifford, former President Bill Clinton,[9] Leonard Downie, Jr., Paul Farmer, Earvin (Magic) Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Sam Donaldson, Kenneth Feinberg, Annette Gordon Reed,[10] Meg Greenfield, Dorothy Height, Don Hewitt, Molly Ivins, Vernon Jordan, Murray Kempton, Wendy Kopp, Charles Krauthammer, Brian Lamb, Jim Lehrer, Scott McClellan,[11] Robert McNamara, Charles Morris, Peggy Noonan, William Novak, former President Barack Obama,[12] former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill, Nancy Reagan, Andy Rooney, Morley Safer, Natan Sharansky, George Soros, Susan Swain, former President Donald Trump, Paul Volcker, Juan Williams, James Wolfensohn, former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus.[1]

From 2006 to 2014, he wrote the Platform column for the Century Foundation, which was published by The Daily Beast[13] and The Atlantic.[14] Since 2017, his Platform column has been published on Medium.[15] In January 2022, Peter Osnos Platform was launched on Substack.

His memoir An Especially Good View: Watching History Happen was published in 2021. He is the editor of a book of biographical essays called George Soros: A Life in Full, coming in March 2022.

He has served on the board of directors of Human Rights Watch,[16] and, from 2005 to 2009, he was executive director of The Caravan Project, a non-profit organization that supported the simultaneous publishing of books in audio, digital, and print formats.[17] He was Vice-Chairman of the Columbia Journalism Review from 2007 to 2012.[18] In 2020, he and his wife Susan co-founded Platform Books LLC.[19]


Osnos lives in New York City with his wife Susan Sherer Osnos, who is chair of the board of the Center for Civilians in Conflict.[20] She is a daughter of diplomat Albert W. Sherer Jr.[21] He has two children: Katherine Osnos Sanford and journalist Evan Osnos; and five grandchildren.


  • An Especially Good View: Watching History Happen, Platform Books, 2021. ISBN 9781735996806 [22]


  1. ^ a b "About Us". PublicAffairs. 2017-09-15. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  2. ^ Osnos, Evan. "NINE LIVES". Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  3. ^ "Marta Osnos, 83, Dies; Researcher on Cancer". The New York Times. 1990-09-17. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  4. ^ "Notable Alumni| After Brandeis| Undergraduate Admissions| Brandeis University". Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  5. ^ a b "Four Win Columbia University's Highest Journalism Alumni Award". Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  6. ^ "Comparing Wars in Iraq and Vietnam |". Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  7. ^ "President Carter Publishes a Book of Poetry". Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  8. ^ Carter, Rosalynn; Golant, Susan K. (2013-10-01). Helping Yourself Help Others: A Book for Caregivers. PublicAffairs. ISBN 9781610393539.
  9. ^ Kirkpatrick, David D. (2001-08-07). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Publisher Will Pay Clinton Over $10 Million for Book". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  10. ^ "[Vernon Can Read!: A Memoir] |". Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  11. ^ "What Happened With What Happened". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  12. ^ "Obamas' Books to Be Published By Crown". Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  13. ^ "The Daily Beast". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  14. ^ Peter Osnos. "Peter Osnos". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  15. ^ "Peter Osnos' Platform – Medium". Medium. Retrieved 2020-12-30.
  16. ^ "Peter L.W. Osnos". Human Rights Watch. 2014-09-20. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  17. ^ "The Caravan Project Rolls". Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  18. ^ "CJR's New Board of Overseers". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  19. ^ "Axios AM - Axios AM: Mike's Top 10 — Biden's Day 1 — Scoop: Trump eyes digital empire to "wreck Fox" — 🍂 Augusta in autumn". Newsletry. Retrieved 2020-12-30.
  20. ^ "Susan Osnos, Chair of the Board". Center for Civilians in Conflict. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  21. ^ "Albert Sherer Jr., Helsinki Negotiator". Chicago Tribune. December 29, 1986.
  22. ^ Sycamore, Mattilda Bernstein. "Shelf Awareness for Thursday, November 12, 2020". Retrieved 2020-12-30.

External linksEdit