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John Avlon          

Author, Columnist & Commentator; Senior Political Analyst & Anchor at CNN

John Avlon is an author, columnist, and commentator. He is a senior political analyst and anchor at CNN. From 2013 to 2018, he was the editor-in-chief and managing director of The Daily Beast, during which time the site’s traffic more than doubled to over one million readers a day while winning 17 journalism awards. He is the author of the books "Lincoln and the Fight for Peace," "Independent Nation," "Wingnuts," and "Washington’s Farewell," as well as co-editor of the acclaimed "Deadline Artists" journalism anthologies. Avlon served as chief speechwriter to New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists award for best online column in 2012. In 2023, Avlon’s “Reality Check” won the New York Press Club award for best TV commentary.

After the attacks of September 11th, 2001, he and his team were responsible for writing the eulogies for all firefighters and police officers murdered in the destruction of the World Trade Center. Avlon’s essay on the attacks, “The Resilient City,” concluded the anthology "Empire City: New York through the Centuries" and won acclaim as the single best essay written in the wake of 9/11.

Avlon has appeared on The Daily Show, Late Show with Stephen Colbert, CNN, Real Time with Bill Maher, PBS, and C-Span. He has spoken at the Kennedy School of Government, the Citadel, the State Department’s visiting journalist program, and civic organizations around the nation.

He serves on the board of Citizens Union of New York and The Bronx Academy of Letters as well as the advisory board of the Theodore Roosevelt Association. He was appointed to the New York City Voter Assistance Advisory Committee in 2011. Avlon was a co-founder of No Labels – a group of Democrats, Republicans and Independents dedicated to the politics of problem-solving and making government work again.

He is married to Margaret Hoover, the author of American Individualism and host of PBS’s Firing Line. The New York Times says, “Their telegenic union may be a lesson in overcoming the orthodoxies that divide us.” They live in New York City and Sag Harbor with their son, Jack and daughter, Toula Lou.

Speech Topics

At the Podium

Avlon discusses America’s broken political system and shares with audiences tangible opportunities for constructive change. A registered Independent, Avlon believes that hyper-partisanship is hurting our country because it is stopping us from solving the serious problems we face. The current polarization in congress is a departure from our country’s best traditions. As a ‘radical centrist,’ he argues that part of the solution is to play offense from the center, identifying the common ground that exists on any given issue and then building on it, fighting for the national interest rather than special interests.


When did Barack Obama become a Republican? (opinion) - CNN
John Avlon is a CNN senior political analyst. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion articles on CNN. (CNN) When did ...
John Avlon: Inspector general's report was essentially right-wing ...
The report from the Justice Department's inspector general essentially rebuts more than two years of talking points by Trump and Republicans about a ...

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