A Brief Biography of Sylvia Nasar

Sylvia Nasar was born in Bavaria in 1947 to a German mother and Uzbek father. Her family immigrated to the United States in 1951 and lived in New York and Washington, D.C. before moving to Ankara, Turkey in 1960. In 1965, she returned to the U.S. on her own and attended Antioch College where she majored in literature, and also spent a year at the University of Munich. After working for several years, she entered the Ph.D. program in economics at New York University and completed a masters' degree in 1976. For four years she did research with Nobel Laureate Wassily Leontief at the Institute for Economic Analysis.

At 35, Nasar became a journalist. Since 1983, she has been a writer at Fortune, a columnist at U.S. News & World Report and, until 2000, a reporter at the New York Times where she covered economics. She and her husband, Darryl McLeod, also an economist, have three children, Clara, Lily and Jack and live in Tarrytown, New York.

A Beautiful Mind, her first book, won the 1998 National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A #1 New York Times best-seller, Nasar's biography of mathematical genius John Nash inspired the Academy Award-winning movie directed by Ron Howard and was honored, along with Akiva Goldsman's screenplay, with the 2002 Scripter Award. Nasar recently co-edited The Essential John Nash, a collection of Nash's scientific papers, and served as creative consultant on a PBS documentary about Nash. She is currently working on a book about 20th century economic thinkers, and is now the first John S. and James L. Knight Professor at the Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.