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Walter Isaacson

International Affairs Columnist, Former Managing Editor

Walter Isaacson, the former managing editor of TIME and the former editorial director of Time Inc., was named international affairs columnist in 2007. Isaacson had been the managing editor of TIME since 1996, making him the 14th chief editor of the magazine since its founding in 1923. He is currently the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute.

Isaacson joined TIME in 1978 as a national affairs writer in New York before moving to Washington, D.C., to be a political correspondent for the magazine. He subsequently became TIME’s Nation editor and an assistant managing editor. In 1993, he was named the Editor of New Media for Time Inc., a role for which AdWeek named him “Editor of the Year” in 1995.

Later, as the managing editor of TIME, Isaacson initiated a number of special projects including the TIME 100, an end-of-the-century project involving six special issues and television shows, which culminated with a choice of a person of the century. He also oversaw TIME’s growing franchises including TIME.com and classroom publication TIME for Kids. Additionally, he continued to write for the magazine, with cover stories on Bill Gates, Andrew Grove and Madeleine Albright, as well as the essay on TIME’s choice of Albert Einstein as its person of the century.

In 2000, Isaacson was named editorial director of Time Inc. In that capacity, he helped to set the editorial and electronic media strategies for the company’s major magazines, and he served as the liaison to CNN, AOL and other divisions of Time Warner. In 2001, he was named chairman and CEO of CNN.

Isaacson began his journalism career as a reporter for The Sunday Times of London and then as a reporter and city hall columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune/States-Item. He is the co-author of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made, (Simon & Schuster, 1986) a book about American statesmen and the Cold War, and the author of Kissinger: A Biography (Simon & Schuster, 1992) and Ben Franklin: An American Life (Simon & Schuster, 2003). He is also the author of Einstein: His Life and Universe (Simon & Schuster, 2007).

Isaacson is a graduate of Harvard College and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Last modified: November 18, 2013

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