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Bill Keller

Bill Keller
Keller in March 2006
Born (1949-01-18) January 18, 1949
Occupation Journalist
Known for The New York Times
The Marshall Project
Spouse(s) (first marriage, divorce)[1]
Emma Gilbey (m. 1999)[1]

Bill Keller (born January 18, 1949) is an American journalist. He is a writer for The New York Times, where he was executive editor from July 2003 until September 2011. He announced on June 2, 2011, that he would step down from the position to become a full-time writer. Jill Abramson replaced him as executive editor.[2]

Keller worked in the Times Moscow bureau from 1986 to 1991, eventually as bureau chief, spanning the final years of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. For his reporting during 1988 he won a Pulitzer Prize.[3]


  • Early life 1
  • The New York Times 2
    • 2003 Invasion of Iraq 2.1
    • Judith Miller 2.2
    • NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program 2.3
    • Catholic Church sex abuse crisis 2.4
    • SWIFT 2.5
  • Nelson Mandela 3
  • The Marshall Project 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Keller is the son of former chairman and chief executive of the

  • Bill Keller collected news and commentary at The New York Times
  • Nelson Mandela: 'Tree Shaker' (audio-video, 3:02) — Keller talks about his book on ABC News, May 29, 2008
  • Bill Keller at the Internet Movie Database
  • Bill Keller on Twitter
  • Hagan, Joe (September 18, 2006). "The United States of America vs. Bill Keller".  
  • Works by or about Emma Gilbey Keller in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  • Bill Keller at Library of Congress Authorities, with 2 catalog records

External links

  1. ^ a b c d "WEDDINGS; Emma Gilbey and Bill Keller". The New York Times. April 11, 1999. 
  2. ^ Peters, Jeremy W. (June 2, 2011). "Abramson to Replace Keller as The Times's Executive Editor".  
  3. ^ a b "International Reporting". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2013-11-01.
  4. ^ Jacques Steinberg, "Bill Keller, Columnist, Is Selected As The Times's Executive Editor," New York Times, July 15, 2003, p. A1
  5. ^ a b c "Columnist Biography: Bill Keller". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-11-02. Coverage evidently ends before 2003.
  6. ^ "Times Appoints Managing Editor and 2 Deputies," New York Times, May 23, 1997, p. C31
  7. ^ Keller, Bill (February 8, 2003). "The I-Can't-Believe-I'm-a-Hawk Club". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ Keller, Bill (March 22, 2003). "Why Colin Powell Should Go". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ Keller, Bill (September 22, 2002). "The Sunshine Warrior". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ Hagan, Joe (September 18, 2006). "The United States of America vs. Bill Keller".  
  11. ^ Online NewsHour: Debate | Newspaper Criticized for Leaks | July 5, 2006 | PBS
  12. ^ NYT article
  13. ^ The Media’s War Against the War Continues - Andrew C. McCarthy - National Review Online
  14. ^ Fiore, Faye (2006-06-26). "Congressman Wants N.Y. Times Prosecuted". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-22. 
  15. ^ "Letter From Bill Keller on The Times's Banking Records Report". The New York Times. 2006-06-25. Retrieved 2011-04-22. 
  16. ^ "Tree shaker: the story of Nelson Mandela". Library of Congress Catalog Record. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  17. ^ Barsky, Neil (November 15, 2013). "Chill Out, 1 Percenters".  
  18. ^ a b Pompeo, Joe (July 1, 2014). "The Marshall Project’s charmed launch".  
  19. ^ Somaiya, Ravi (February 9, 2014). "Bill Keller, Former Editor of The Times, Is Leaving for News Nonprofit".  
  20. ^ "The Marshall Project to launch in November".  


criminal justice in the United States. The project was originally conceived by former hedge fund manager, filmmaker and journalist Neil Barsky, who annnounced it in his byline in an unrelated New York Times article in November 2013.[17][18] In February 2014, the New York Times reported that Keller was going to work for the Marshall Project.[18][19] The Marshall Project formally launched in November 2014[20] and as of 2015, Keller is still working and leading the editorial efforts there.

The Marshall Project

Keller's wife since 1999, Emma Gilbey, wrote a full biography of Winnie Mandela published in 1993, The Lady: The Life and Times of Winnie Mandela (Jonathan Cape).[1]

Keller wrote a 128-page juvenile biography of Nelson Mandela published by Kingfisher Books in 2008, Tree Shaker: the story of Nelson Mandela.[16]He had served as the Times bureau chief in Johannesburg from April 1992 to May 1995[5]—spanning the end of apartheid in South Africa and election of Mandela's African National Congress as the governing party in 1994.

Nelson Mandela

In an attempt to respond to criticism stemming from the disclosure of the classified President Bush himself had acknowledged as early as September 2001 that efforts were underway "to identify and investigate the financial infrastructure of the international terrorist networks" and "to follow the money as a trail to the terrorists." In an Op-ed column in The Times, Keller, together with Los Angeles Times editor Dean Baquet wrote that "Our job, especially in times like these, is to bring our readers information that will enable them to judge how well their elected leaders are fighting on their behalf and at what price." Keller's critics, including U.S. Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, responded to Keller's letter by pointing out that there is a vast difference between stating general intentions to track terrorist finances and the exact means employed to achieve those goals. But, as Keller wrote, this was the same Secretary Snow who invited a group of reporters to a 6-day trip on a military aircraft "to show off the department's efforts to track terrorist financing."

Keller and The Times also published a story on another classified program to monitor terrorist-related financial transactions through the Brussels, Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) on June 23, 2006. Many commentators,[13] as well as some elected officials such as U.S. Congressman Peter T. King,[14] called for the U.S. Justice Department to prosecute The New York Times and the confidential sources who leaked the existence of this counter-terrorism program despite relevant statutes that forbid revealing classified information that could threaten national security, especially in a time of war.


Keller widely reported on the Catholic sex abuse cases and flatly put the blame on John Paul II himself : "The uncomfortable and largely unspoken truth is that the current turmoil in the Roman Catholic Church is not just a sad footnote to the life of a beloved figure. This is a crisis of the pope's making."[12]

Catholic Church sex abuse crisis

Keller discussed the deliberations behind the Times' decision to publish the story in a July 5, 2006 PBS interview with Jeffrey Brown that included a discussion of the issues involved with former National Security Agency Director Admiral Bobby Ray Inman.[11]

Keller is reported to have refused to answer questions from The Times public editor, Byron Calame, on the timing of the December 16, 2005 article on the classified National Security Agency (NSA) Terrorist Surveillance Program. Keller's delay of reporting about NSA overreach until after Bush's close reelection was controversial.[10] The Times series of articles on this topic won a Pulitzer Prize. The source of the disclosure of this NSA program has been investigated by the United States Justice Department. The NSA program itself is being reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee as to whether it sidesteps the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and after The Times articles, the Administration changed its procedures, allowing for more safeguards and more Congressional and judicial oversight.

NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program

Keller spoke on July 6, 2005 in defense of Judith Miller and her refusal to give up documents relating to the Valerie Plame case.

Judith Miller

Keller was a leading supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, explaining his backing for military action in his article 'The I-Can't-Believe-I'm-A-Hawk Club'.[7] Two days after the invasion, Keller wrote the column 'Why Colin Powell Should Go'[8] arguing for US Secretary of State's resignation because his strategy of diplomacy at the UN had failed. In contrast, Keller was much more sympathetic to Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, describing him as the 'Sunshine Warrior'.[9]

2003 Invasion of Iraq

He won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting citing his "resourceful and detailed coverage of events in the U.S.S.R." during 1988.[3] That is, in the Soviet Union during the year it established its Congress of People's Deputies, the last year before the revolutions of 1989 in Central and Eastern Europe.

  • Reporter in the Washington, D.C. bureau (1984–1986)
  • Reporter in the Moscow bureau (1986–1988)
  • Bureau chief in the Moscow bureau (1988–1991)
  • Bureau chief in the Johannesburg bureau (1992–1995)
  • Foreign editor (1995–1997)
  • Managing editor (1997–2001)
  • Op-ed columnist and senior writer (2001–2003)
  • Executive editor (July 2003 to September 2011)

Keller joined The New York Times in April 1984,[6] and served in the following capacities:[5]

The New York Times

[5]. He is married to Emma Gilbey Keller and has three children.Dallas Times Herald and the Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, followed by stints with the The Oregonian with Portland). From July 1970 to March 1979, he was a reporter in The Collage (later called The Collegian where he began his journalistic career as a reporter for a campus newspaper called [4],Pomona College, and graduated in 1970 from San Mateo, California in Junípero Serra High School He attended the Roman Catholic schools St. Matthews and [1]

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