Eugene Joseph Dionne Jr. (/dˈɒn/; born April 23, 1952), known as E. J. Dionne, is an American journalist and political commentator, and a long-time op-ed columnist for The Washington Post. He is also a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, a University Professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture at the McCourt School of Public Policy, and an NPR, MSNBC, and PBS commentator.

Life and career

Dionne was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 23, 1952, and raised in Fall River, Massachusetts. He is the son of the late Lucienne (née Galipeau), a librarian and teacher, and Eugene J. Dionne, a dentist.[1][2] He is of French-Canadian descent.[3] He attended Portsmouth Abbey School (then known as Portsmouth Priory), a Benedictine college preparatory school in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Dionne holds an A.B. summa cum laude in Social Studies from Harvard University (1973), where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was affiliated with Adams House. He also earned a DPhil in Sociology from Balliol College, Oxford (1982), where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

External video
Booknotes interview with Dionne on Why Americans Hate Politics, August 25, 1991, C-SPAN

Dionne's published works include the influential 1991 bestseller Why Americans Hate Politics, which argued that several decades of political polarization was alienating a silent centrist majority. It was characterized as radical centrist by Time magazine.[4] Later books include They Only Look Dead: Why Progressives Will Dominate the Next Political Era (1996), Stand up Fight Back: Republican Toughs, Democratic Wimps, and Politics of Revenge (2004), Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics After the Religious Right (2008), and Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent (2012). His most recent book is One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate and the Not-Yet Deported (2017), coauthored with Norman J. Ornstein and Thomas E. Mann.

Dionne is a columnist for Commonweal, a liberal Catholic publication. Before becoming a columnist for the Post in 1993, he worked as a reporter for that paper as well as The New York Times. He has recently joined the left-liberal The National Memo news-politics website. Dionne has been criticized for his statements regarding the NRA, calling them “terrorists” in a 2012 op-ed published in the Washington Post, only several days after the Sandy Hook shooting.[5]

Dionne lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife, Mary Boyle, and three children, James, Julia, and Margot.[6]



  1. ^ Fletcher, Paul (May 5, 1988). "Fall River native E.J. Dionne returns as New York Times political reporter". The Providence Journal. Retrieved 2012-07-21. 
  2. ^ McCarthy, Sean (March 22, 2012). "Columnist E.J. Dionne has fond memories of Fall River". SouthCoastToday.com. Retrieved 2012-07-21. 
  3. ^ "Q&A With Bob Levey". The Washington Post. March 7, 2000. Retrieved 2012-07-21. 
  4. ^ Duffy, Michael (May 20, 1991). "Looking for The Radical Middle". Time magazine. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
  5. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ej-dionne-jr-will-we-forget-newtowns-kids/2012/12/19/c1384f52-4a13-11e2-ad54-580638ede391_story.html
  6. ^ "E.J. Dionne: W. Averell Harriman Chair and Senior Fellow - Governance Studies". The Brookings Institution. July 2016. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 

External links