Tom Junod (born April 9, 1958) is an American journalist. He is the recipient of two National Magazine Awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors.[1]

Tom Junod
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood 04 (48735009017) (cropped).jpg
Junod in 2019
Born (1958-04-09) April 9, 1958 (age 64)
Alma materUniversity at Albany, SUNY
SpouseJanet Junod
ChildrenAntonia Li Junod

Early lifeEdit

In 1980, Junod graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the State University of New York at Albany.[2]


Junod worked as a writer for Esquire magazine beginning in 1997, after following editor David Granger to the magazine from GQ. He also worked for Atlanta magazine, Life, and Sports Illustrated. Junod has published award-winning pieces for several magazines. Among his notable works are The Abortionist, The Rapist Says He's Sorry,[3] The Falling Man[4] and a controversial 2001 piece on R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe, in which he satirically fabricated information for an interview that never happened.[5] As of November 2019, he is a writer for ESPN The Magazine.

Junod is also noted for his Esquire profile of Fred Rogers.[6] Junod has stated that his encounter with Rogers changed his perspective on life.[7] The event is the premise of the 2019 feature film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Junod also appeared in the critically acclaimed documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018).[8]

Among his controversial articles, Junod came to regret the tone of his 1997 profile of Kevin Spacey for Esquire that "more or less outed the actor". At the time Spacey described the profile as "mean-spirited" and "homophobic" and called for a boycott of both the author and publication. "That story had the reek of bad faith to it, to be quite honest with you," Junod admitted when interviewed by Atlanta Magazine in 2019, noting that the negative response to his Kevin Spacey profile had stalled his career prior to his Fred Rogers assignment.[7]


Junod is the recipient of two National Magazine Awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors; one for a profile of John Britton, an abortion doctor,[9] and one for a profile of a rapist undergoing therapy while enduring what is known as "civil commitment" finalist for the award.[10]

In 2011, Junod won the James Beard Award for his essay "My Mom Couldn't Cook", published in Esquire in September 2010.[11]


  1. ^ Carlson, Peter (26 June 2007). "Bringing Out the Worst In Celebrity Coverage?". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 30, 2010.
  2. ^ Shepherd, Steven L. (2001). Our fathers: reflections by sons. Beacon Press. p. 248. ISBN 0-8070-6246-4.
  3. ^ Junod, Tom (December 1995). "The Rapist Says He's Sorry". GQ. Archived from the original on September 5, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  4. ^ Junod, Tom (2003). "The Falling Man". Esquire.
  5. ^ "Writer Comes Clean On Fake Stipe Profile". Billboard. May 25, 2001. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  6. ^ Junod, Tom (6 April 2017). "Can You Say...Hero?". Esquire Magazine. Archived from the original on 2 April 2021. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  7. ^ a b Van Atten, Suzanne (18 November 2019). "How Mister Rogers changed the life of Atlanta writer Tom Junod". Atlanta Magazine. Archived from the original on November 19, 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  8. ^ "Mr. Rogers doc 'Wont You Be My Neighbor?' feels right for our less-than-neighborly times". CNN. June 8, 2018.
  9. ^ Junod, Tom (February 1994). "The Abortionist". GQ.
  10. ^ Fennell, John (2009). "The Missouri Association of Publications 5th Anniversary Publishing Summit Will Be Held March 5 and 6 in Columbia". University of Missouri Journalism School. Archived from the original on 2010-05-10.
  11. ^ Junod, Tom (2010). "My Mom Couldn't Cook". Esquire.

External linksEdit