Neal Gabler is a distinguished author, cultural historian, and television commentator who has been called “one of America’s most important public intellectuals.” His first book, An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood, won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History and the Theatre Library Association Award for the best book on television, radio, or film. On the centenary of the first public exhibition of motion pictures in America, a special panel of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences named it one of the one hundred outstanding books on the American film industry. His second book, Winchell: Gossip, Power and the Culture of Celebrity, was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and was named the non-fiction book of the year by Time Magazine. It recently placed sixth on Newsweek’s list of “Books to Read Now.” His third book, Life the Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality, is currently being used in college courses across the country to examine the convergence of reality and entertainment. And his most recent book, Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination, a New York Times best-seller, was named the biography of the year by USA Today and won Mr. Gabler his second Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It was also the runner-up for the prestigious Kraszna-Krausz Book Award in England.
Mr. Gabler was graduated with high distinction and highest honors from the University of Michigan and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He holds advanced degrees in film and American Culture. He has also taught at the University of Michigan, where he won an outstanding teaching award, and at the Pennsylvania State University. Leaving academe, he was selected to replace departing co-hosts Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel on the public television movie review program, Sneak Previews. He has also been the host of the American Movie Classics cable television network, and of Reel to Real on the History Channel, and he is currently the host of Reel Thirteen on WNET, the public television station in New York, for which he won an Emmy last year.
Mr. Gabler is a regular contributor to the New York Times,the Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times, and his essays and articles have appeared in Newsweek, Vanity Fair, The Nation, The New Republic, Men’s Journal, George, Playboy, Time, TV Guide, Variety, and many other publications. He has also been a contributor to the Fox News Channel and served as a panelist on the weekly media review program Fox News Watch from 2002 to 2007. One television critic called him a “megawatt brain…whose take on media coverage was fiercely individualistic, profound and original.” He has made appearances on The Today Show, CBS Morning News, Entertainment Tonight, Charlie Rose, and the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. He is currently co-producing his first film, Freedom Riders, and is co-producing the pilot for the HBO series, Random Family.
Mr. Gabler has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Freedom Forum Fellowship and, this year, of a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. He has also been the chief non-fiction judge of the National Book Awards and a judge of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. He is currently a senior fellow at the Norman Lear Center for the Study of Society and Entertainment at the University of Southern California, and is a Visiting Professor in the MFA program at SUNY Stony Brook. His older daughter Laurel is a Rhodes Scholar studying at Oxford and his younger daughter Tanne is teaching in American Samoa under the auspices of World Teach. He is now working on a book on the late Sen. Edward Kennedy and the course of modern American liberalism to be published by the Harmony/Crown division of Random House.