Anna Quindlen
Author, journalist, opinion columnist
Born: July 8, 1953, in Philadelphia
Grew up in: South Brunswick, New Jersey
New Jersey Hall of Fame, Class of 2015: Arts & Letters

Most biographies state that Anna Quindlen started her journalism career at The New York Post. Always a seeker of truth, Quindlen set the record straight during her New Jersey Hall of Fame induction speech in 2015.

Her journalism odyssey, she explained, “started in New Jersey, as a copygirl at The New Brunswick Home News.”

Quindlen, a 1970 graduate of South Brunswick High School, went on to become a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times and a best-selling writer of fiction and nonfiction. She is renowned for tackling contemporary social and political issues, including many gender-related topics, with unique personal insights.

She did, in fact, jump on the fast-track to success as a part-time reporter at the New York Post while still an undergraduate at Barnard College in New York. After graduation in 1974, she joined the paper fulltime. By 1977, she moved to The Times as a general assignment and City Hall reporter. In 1981, she became deputy metropolitan editor and began writing a biweekly column, “About New York.”

Quindlen left The Times in 1985 to spend more time with her two young sons and work on a novel, but returned to the paper on and off for the rest of the decade. In 1990, she introduced an Op-Ed page column, “Public & Private,” which earned her the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. She was only the third woman so honored.

In 1991, Quindlen’s first novel, “Object Lessons,” became a best-seller. This was followed in 1994 by “One True Thing,” a novel based on Quindlen’s real-life experiences caring for her mother, who was dying of cancer. The book inspired the movie “One True Thing,” which was shot mainly in Morristown and Maplewood, and starred Meryl Streep and Renee Zellweger (as mother and daughter, respectively).

Starting in 1994, Quindlen devoted herself fulltime to her books. In all, she has written nine novels and numerous works of nonfiction, including the million-selling “A Short Guide to a Happy Life” (2000), Quindlen’s reflection on making the most of each day. Her memoir, “Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake” (2012), was a No. 1 best-seller.

In addition to writing books, Quindlen returned to journalism in 1999 as a columnist for Newsweek for most of the ensuing decade. Among her many honors, Quindlen holds honorary degrees from some 17 universities, including Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken.

Intro/Acceptance Video