Michael Kinsley

On this date in 1951, journalist Michael Kinsley was born in Detroit. He earned his B.A. at Harvard in 1972, attended Oxford and earned his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1977. Named editorial and opinion editor of the Los Angeles Times in June 2004, Kinsley previously was founding editor of Slate.com. His journalistic credentials include writing for Time magazine, the Washington Post and Vanity Fair.

In 1979 he became editor of The New Republic (rejoining the magazine in 2013 after a long hiatus). He has been editor-in-chief of Harper’s and editor of the American Survey Department of The Economist. Kinsley was managing editor of the Washington Monthly and co-hosted CNN’s “Crossfire” for six years. He played himself in the 1993 movie “Dave.”

In a December 2004 Los Angeles Times column about gay marriage, he wrote, “Such a development is not just amazing. It is inspiring. American society hasn’t used up its capacity to recognize that it harbors injustice, and it remains supple enough to change as a result. In fact, the process is speeding up. It took African American civil rights a century, and feminism half a century, to travel the distance gay rights have moved in a decade and a half.”

His books include Please Don’t Remain Calm: Provocations and Commentaries (2008) and Old Age: A Beginners Guide (2016).  Kinsley identifies as a “nonbeliever.” In 2002 he married Patty Stonesifer, a top executive at Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. That same year he revealed he had Parkinson’s disease and in 2006 underwent deep brain stimulation, surgery designed to reduce its symptoms.

According to a humorous postscript to his Time column anticipating the surgery, the operation went well: His first words out of the operating room were, “Well, of course, when you cut taxes, government revenues go up. Why couldn’t I see that before?”

PHOTO: Kinsley during an interview with Brian Lamb on C-SPAN (April 12, 2016).

Freedom From Religion Foundation