William Safire biography

Author Biography  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

William Safire

William Safire

William Safire Biography

Born December 17, 1929, in New York City, William Safire was the youngest of three sons of Oliver C. and Ida (Panish) Safir. (Safire later changed the spelling of the family name while in the army to ensure correct pronunciation.) His father, a successful thread manufacturer, died when Safire was four, and he was raised by his mother in Los Angeles and New York.

After graduating from the Bronx High School of Science in New York, Safire attended Syracuse University for two years. He got a job as a copyboy the New York Herald Tribune. In 1952 he spent time as a correspondent in Europe and the Mid-East before entering the army. In 1954, Safire got a job with NBC, and he helped arrange the famous "kitchen debate" between Vice-President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in 1959.

Starting his own public relations firm in 1961, Mr. Safire worked in Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller's 1964 presidential race and John V. Lindsay's 1965 campaign for mayor of New York. He volunteered as an unpaid speechwriter for Nixon and was assigned to help Patrick Buchanan with Nixon's syndicated newspaper column. In 1968 he wrote the victory speech following Nixon's election and in 1969, he joined the White House staff. As a presidential assistant he represented the moderate wing of the Republican Party and was responsible for major statements on the economy and Vietnam War.

In 1978 Safire won a Pulitzer prize for commentary. In addition to his twice-a-week political column, which appeared in over 300 papers, he was also known as a literary stylist, a pop grammarian, and the author of a weekly column, "On Language," which appeared in the New York Times Sunday Magazine section.

In 1968 he published The New Language of Politics, a dictionary of words and slogans in the political arena, and later he published several revisions. He has also written numerous other books on language, as well as several novels.

In 2006, Safire was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush. Safire died in 2009 at the age of 79.



This bio was last updated on 10/18/2013. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's a tough task. So, please help us - if the information about this author is out of date or inaccurate, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and publishers: If you wish to make changes to a bio, send the complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by William Safire at BookBrowse
Scandalmonger jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for William Safire but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Joseph J. Ellis

    Joseph J. Ellis

    Joseph J. Ellis is one of the nation's leading scholars of American history. The author of nine books, Ellis was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Founding Brothers: the Revolutionary Generation and won the National Book Award ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Scandalmonger

    Try:
    Founding Brothers
    by Joseph J. Ellis

  • Joe Eszterhas

    Joe Eszterhas

    Joe Eszterhas was born in Hungary, spent his first six years in Austrian refugee camps, and came to the United States in 1950. He lives in Point Dume, California, with his wife Naomi and their four children. He has two ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Scandalmonger

    Try:
    American Rhapsody
    by Joe Eszterhas

We recommend 5 similar authors

View all 5 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join & Save $10!

Discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten. One-year membership: $29

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: One Night Two Souls Went Walking
    One Night Two Souls Went Walking
    by Ellen Cooney
    In One Night Two Souls Went Walking, we follow a young interfaith chaplain as she carries out her ...
  • Book Jacket: Truthtelling
    Truthtelling
    by Lynne Schwartz
    The word "unsayable" can mean something is too vast to be put into words. Alternatively, it can ...
  • Book Jacket: The Book Collectors
    The Book Collectors
    by Delphine Minoui
    About halfway through The Book Collectors, I was disappointed. I came into the book with a ...
  • Book Jacket: Blue Sky Kingdom
    Blue Sky Kingdom
    by Bruce Kirkby
    Who hasn't dreamed of escaping all of the trappings of today's modern life and finding a secluded, ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Blind Light
    by Stuart Evers

    A multigenerational story about two families bound together by the tides of history.

    Reader Reviews
Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Exiles
by Christina Baker Kline
The author of Orphan Train returns with an ambitious, emotionally resonant historical novel.
Win This Book!
Win Jack

Return to Gilead with Jack, the instant New York Times bestseller

Enter to win Marilynne Robinson's latest novel in her classic series.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I G I O Ear A O T O

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.