Thomas Friedman, the world-renowned author and journalist, was born on July 20, 1953 and graduated from St. Louis Park High School in 1971. In an article that he wrote for the New York Times, he said his St. Louis Park High School journalism teacher Hattie Steinberg, (who also supervised the publication of the school Echo) had made a very important difference in his life. He took her journalism course in 1969 and never needed or taken another journalism course.

Friedman joined the New York Times in 1981 as a financial reporter specializing in OPEC and oil related news. He later served as the Chief Diplomatic, Chief White House, and International Economic correspondents. He is a three time Pulitzer Prize winner and has travel thousands of miles reporting on the Middle East conflict, the end of the Cold War, and US domestic and foreign policy, international economics and the worldwide impact of the terrorist threat. His Foreign Affairs Column, which appears twice a week in the Times, is syndicated to 700 other newspapers worldwide.

Friedman is the author of From Beirut to Jerusalem, which won both the National Book and Overseas Press Club Awards in 1989 and was on The New York Times Bestseller list for nearly 12 months. Friedman also wrote The Lexus and the Olive Tree, which was one of 1999’s best selling business books, and winner of the 2000 Overseas Press Club Award for the best non fiction book on foreign policy. His most recent book, Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World after September 11, consists of columns Friedman published about September 11 as well as a diary of his private experiences and reflections during his reporting on the post September 11 world traveling from Afghanistan to Israel to Europe to Indonesia to Saudi Arabia.

Growing up in St. Louis Park, Thomas Friedman lived at 6831 W. 23rd Street.  The 1971 yearbook reveals that he was the Echo business manager in 1969-70, on the Echo staff 1970-71, on the golf team throughout high school, in the Lettermen’s Club, a Lord of the Court during Homecoming 1971, and Mandala (literary magazine) prose editor in 1971.

Friedman graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis University with a degree in Mediterranean Studies and received a Masters degree in Modern Middle East Studies from Oxford. He served as a visiting professor at Harvard University and has been awarded honorary degrees from several universities. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife, Ann and their two daughters.

Most of the above biographical information was provided by Thomas Friedman‘s office at The New York Times.


On October 30, 2012, Friedman published a column in the New York Times about a trip home to St. Louis Park and noted how the city had changed.