Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a best-selling author, an activist, a Presbyterian minister, a university teacher and a television host. He has written 12 books, including the New York Times best-seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), which he co-authored with the cartoonist Joe Sacco. His other books include “Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt” (2015), “Death of the Liberal Class” (2010), “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle” (2009), “I Don’t Believe in Atheists” (2008) and the best-selling “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” (2008). His book “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” (2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and has sold more than 400,000 copies. He writes a weekly column for Truthdig and hosts an Emmy-nominated TV show, “On Contact,” on RT.
Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries during his work for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.
He was part of a New York Times team of reporters awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for coverage of global terrorism. He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002.
Hedges speaks Arabic, French and Spanish and studied the classics, plus ancient Greek and Latin, as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.
Hedges has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University and the University of Toronto. He currently teaches a class through Princeton University at a state prison in New Jersey.
Hedges holds a B.A. in English literature from Colgate University and a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, Calif.
On the basis of Hedges’ work in prisons, he was ordained in 2014. The theologian James Cone, considered the father of black liberation theology, preached the sermon at the ordination, held at the Second Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth, N.J., and the activist and intellectual Cornel West spoke.
Hedges began his career reporting from Argentina on the Falkland war for National Public Radio. He went on to cover the wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua for five years, first for The Christian Science Monitor and National Public Radio and later The Dallas Morning News. After six years in Latin America, he took time off to study Arabic.
He spent seven years in the Middle East, most of them as the bureau chief for The New York Times. He left the Middle East in 1995 for Sarajevo to cover the war in Bosnia and later reported the war in Kosovo. Afterward, he was based in Paris as part of the team covering al-Qaida and global terrorism. He left the Times after receiving a formal reprimand from the newspaper for publicly denouncing the George W. Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq.
In 2012 Hedges successfully sued President Barack Obama over Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives the military the authority to indefinitely detain and deny due process to U.S. citizens who are branded as terrorists by the state. The decision was overturned on appeal by the Obama administration, and in 2014 the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the ruling, known as Hedges v. Obama.
Hedges, who was born in St. Johnsbury, Vt., and grew up in a small farm town in upstate New York where his father was a Presbyterian minister, lives in Princeton, N.J. He is married to the Canadian actress Eunice Wong, with whom he has two children. He has two children from a previous marriage.