John Avlon is an author, columnist, and commentator. He is a senior political analyst and anchor at CNN. From 2013 to 2018, he was the editor-in-chief and managing director of The Daily Beast, during which time the site’s traffic more than doubled to over one million readers a day while winning 17 journalism awards. He is the author of the books "Lincoln and the Fight for Peace," "Independent Nation," "Wingnuts," and "Washington’s Farewell," as well as co-editor of the acclaimed "Deadline Artists" journalism anthologies. Avlon served as chief speechwriter to New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists award for best online column in 2012. In 2023, Avlon’s “Reality Check” won the New York Press Club award for best TV commentary.
After the attacks of September 11th, 2001, he and his team were responsible for writing the eulogies for all firefighters and police officers murdered in the destruction of the World Trade Center. Avlon’s essay on the attacks, “The Resilient City,” concluded the anthology "Empire City: New York through the Centuries" and won acclaim as the single best essay written in the wake of 9/11.
Avlon has appeared on The Daily Show, Late Show with Stephen Colbert, CNN, Real Time with Bill Maher, PBS, and C-Span. He has spoken at the Kennedy School of Government, the Citadel, the State Department’s visiting journalist program, and civic organizations around the nation.
He serves on the board of Citizens Union of New York and The Bronx Academy of Letters as well as the advisory board of the Theodore Roosevelt Association. He was appointed to the New York City Voter Assistance Advisory Committee in 2011. Avlon was a co-founder of No Labels – a group of Democrats, Republicans and Independents dedicated to the politics of problem-solving and making government work again.
He is married to Margaret Hoover, the author of American Individualism and host of PBS’s Firing Line. The New York Times says, “Their telegenic union may be a lesson in overcoming the orthodoxies that divide us.” They live in New York City and Sag Harbor with their son, Jack and daughter, Toula Lou.
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