Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell (1963-)

American

Malcolm Timothy Gladwell was born on September 3, 1963; he is a Canadian journalist, bestselling author, and speaker.

He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996. He has written five books, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000), Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), Outliers: The Story of Success (2008), What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (2009), a collection of his journalism, and David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants (2013). All five books were on The New York Times Best Seller list.

 

  • Gladwell's books and articles often deal with the unexpected implications of research in the social sciences and make frequent and extended use of academic work, particularly in the areas of sociology, psychology, and social psychology. Gladwell was appointed to the Order of Canada on June 30, 2011.
  • Gladwell was born in Fareham, Hampshire, England. His mother is Joyce (née Nation) Gladwell, a Jamaican-born psychotherapist. His father, Graham Gladwell, is a mathematics professor from Kent, England.
  • Gladwell's father noted that Malcolm was an unusually single-minded and ambitious boy. When Malcolm was 11, his father, who was a Professor of Mathematics and Engineering at the University of Waterloo, allowed him to wander around the offices at his university, which stoked the boy's interest in reading and libraries.
  • During his high school years, Gladwell was a middle-distance runner and won the 1,500 meter title at the 1978 Ontario High School Championships in Kingston, Ontario, with a time of 4:05.2 seconds. In the spring of 1982, Gladwell interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
  • He graduated with a degree in History from University of Toronto, Trinity College, Toronto in 1984.

 

  • Gladwell's grades were not good enough for graduate school (as Gladwell puts it, "college was not an... intellectually fruitful time for me"), so he decided to go into advertising.

 

  • After being rejected by every advertising agency he applied to, he accepted a journalism position at The American Spectator and moved to Indiana.

 

  • He subsequently wrote for Insight on the News, a conservative magazine owned by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church.

 

  • In 1987, Gladwell began covering business and science for The Washington Post, where he worked until 1996.

 

  • In a personal elucidation of the 10,000 hour rule he popularized in Outliers, Gladwell notes, "I was a basket case at the beginning, and I felt like an expert at the end. It took 10 years—exactly that long.

 

  • When Gladwell started at The New Yorker in 1996 he wanted to "mine current academic research for insights, theories, direction, or inspiration.His first assignment was to write a piece about fashion. Instead of writing about high-class fashion, Gladwell opted to write a piece about a man who manufactured T-shirts, saying "it was much more interesting to write a piece about someone who made a T-shirt for $8 than it was to write about a dress that costs $100,000.
  • Gladwell gained popularity with two New Yorker articles, both written in 1996: "The Tipping Point" and "The Coolhunt"] These two pieces would become the basis for Gladwell's first book, The Tipping Point, for which he received a $1 million advance.
  • He continues to write for The New Yorker. In July 2015 he was the subject of a reprise of several of his articles in a New Yorker newsletter by Henry Finder

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