Jacob Weisberg (born 1964) is an American political journalist, serving as editor-in-chief of Slate Group, a division of Graham Holdings Company. Weisberg is also a Newsweek columnist. He served as the editor of Slate magazine for six years, until stepping down in June 2008.[1] He is the son of Lois Weisberg, a Chicago social activist and connector mentioned in Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point.

Background and education

Weisberg's father, Bernard Weisberg, was a Chicago lawyer and, later, judge. His parents were introduced at a cocktail party by novelist Ralph Ellison. His mother is Lois Weisberg. His brother is former CIA officer and television writer and producer Joe Weisberg.[2] Weisberg graduated from Yale University in 1986, where he worked for the Yale Daily News. When a junior, he was offered a membership in Skull and Bones by then Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts John Kerry, but declined the offer, citing the club's exclusion of women.[3]

Instead Weisberg was persuaded by The Washington Post's Robert G. Kaiser to join Elihu Society.[4] After Yale he attended New College, Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship.


Weisberg is a commentator on National Public Radio. He previously worked for The New Republic in Washington, D.C., was a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine[5] and a contributing editor to Vanity Fair. He has also served as a columnist for the Financial Times. Early in his career, he worked for Newsweek in the London and Washington bureaus. Weisberg has also worked as a freelance journalist for numerous publications.


The creator and author of the Bushisms series, Weisberg published The Bush Tragedy in 2008.[citation needed] He is also the author, with former Goldman Sachs executive and Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, of the latter's memoir, In an Uncertain World: Tough Choices from Wall Street to Washington, which was a New York Times bestseller as well as one of Business Week's ten best business books of 2003.

Weisberg's first book, In Defense of Government, was published in 1996. He chaired the judging panel for the 2009 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for excellence in non-fiction writing.[citation needed]


Weisberg is married to style and fashion journalist Deborah Needleman, formerly editor of domino magazine.[citation needed]



  1. ^ Jacob Weisberg, "And My Successor Is...," Slate, June 4, 2008.
  2. ^ June Thomas. "A Conversation with the Americans Showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields". Slate.com. Slate talked with [Joe] Weisberg (who is also the brother of Jacob Weisberg, the Slate Group's editor in chief) 
  3. ^ Alex Beam, "The Bones in Kerry's Closet," Boston Globe, June 25, 2002, pp. E1+.
  4. ^ Robbins, Alexandra (2002). Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-72091-7, p. 112
  5. ^ Weisberg, Jacob (November 28, 2004). "'I Am Charlotte Simmons': Peeping Tom". The New York Times. 

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