Sylvia Nasar

Sylvia Nasar

Fellow: Awarded 2013
Field of Study: General Nonfiction

Competition: US & Canada

Columbia University

Professor Nasar is the first James S. and John L. Knight Professor of Business Journalism and codirects the M.A. program in business journalism with James B. Stewart, Bloomberg Professor of Business Journalism.

Professor Nasar is the author of the bestselling biography A Beautiful Mind, which has been published in thirty languages, including Farsi, Turkish, Russian and Hindi, and inspired the Academy Award–winning movie directed by Ron Howard (2001). Her most recent book is Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius (2011).  She is currently working on a book on Soviet collaborators, spies, and agents of influence at the end of World War II.

Trained as an economist, Professor Nasar was a New York Times economics correspondent (1991–1999), staff writer at Fortune (1983–1989) and columnist at U.S. News & World Report (1990). Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Newsweek, New York Times Sunday Book Review, Fast Company, London Telegraph, and numerous other publications. She lectures frequently on topics ranging from globalization and economics to mental illness and mathematics. Professor Nasar coedited The Essential John Nash (2001) and Best American Science Writing of 2008 (2009), acted as creative consultant for the American Experience documentary A Brilliant Madness (2001), and wrote the script for the 321FastDraw video The History of Economic Progress in Four Minutes (2011). 

She is the recipient of many honors, including the Berlin Prize (2013), the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Science and Technology (2011), the Spears Financial History Book of the Year Award (2011), and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography (1998) and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography (1998). She has held visiting fellowships at the Russell Sage Foundation (2006–2007), the MacDowell Colony (2006), Yaddo (2005), the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (2002–2003, 199519–1996); and Kings and Churchill Colleges, Cambridge University (2000). She has served as a judge for the National Book Award, Anthony Lucas Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, Dow Jones Newswires, and SABEW, and serves on the advisory board of TeenScreen.

Professor Nasar, who grew up in Germany and Turkey, received her B.A. in literature from Antioch College (1970) and her M.A. in economics from New York University (1976). She was awarded honorary doctorates from De Paul University (2005) and Niagara University (2011).


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