Fareed Zakaria Biography

(Journalist, Political Commentator, Author and Host of the Show ‘Fareed Zakaria GPS’)

Birthday: January 20, 1964 (Aquarius)

Born In: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Fareed RafiqZakaria is a noted Indian-American journalist, political commentator, and author. He hosts the weekly public affairs show ‘Fareed Zakaria GPS’ on CNN that is broadcast across the globe by CNN International. He also contributes as writer of a weekly paid column for ‘The Washington Post’ and has been editor at large of ‘Time’, editor of ‘Newsweek International’, a contributing editor for ‘The Atlantic’and a columnist for ‘Newsweek’.Zakaria has interviewed several bigwigs including Barack Obama, Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin in the ‘Fareed Zakaria GPS’ show. He has hosted primetime specials for CNN Worldwide on a regular basis and often contributes his analysis on global events and public affairs to CNN.com, to the daily digital newsletter called ‘Fareed’s Global Briefing’, and to several other programming across different platforms of CNN. He has authored many books, including three New York Times bestsellers namely ‘In Defense of a Liberal Education’, ‘The Post-American World’ and ‘The Future of Freedom’. He received several honours and awards including the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in India.

Quick Facts

Indian Celebrities Born In January

Also Known As: Fareed Rafiq Zakaria

Age: 60 Years, 60 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Paula Throckmorton

father: Rafiq Zakaria

mother: Fatima Zakaria

children: Lila Zakaria, Omar Zakaria, Sofia Zakaria

Born Country: India

Journalists American Men

Ancestry: Indian American

City: Mumbai, India

More Facts

education: Harvard University, Yale University

awards: 2010 - Padma Bhushan; 2012 · Fareed Zakaria GPS - Peabody Award
2012 · Restoring the American Dream: Fixing Education - National Headliner Award for Documentary or series of reports on the same subject

Childhood & Early Life

Fareed Rafiq Zafaria was born on January 20, 1964, in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, in a Konkani Muslim family of Rafiq Zakaria and his second wife, Fatima Zakaria. His father was a politician and Islamic religious cleric who remained closely associated with the Indian independence movement and Indian National Congress party. His mother, a recipient of the Padma Shri, served as editor of the Mumbai Times, and presently serves as the Sunday editor of ‘The Times of India’ and editor of the Taj magazine of the Taj Hotels.

He attended the co-educational private school in Mumbai called the Cathedral and John Connon School. There after he attended Yale University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from there in 1986. While at Yale, he served as president of the debate society called ‘Yale Political Union’ and remained editor in chief of the Yale Political Monthly. He also became a member of the university’s secret society called Scroll and Key and its debate society called Party of the Right.

He later studied at the Harvard University where he came under Samuel P. Huntington, Stanley Hoffmann, and Robert Keohane.

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Fareed Zakaria directed a research project on American foreign policy at Harvard following which, in 1992, he was inducted as managing editor of the American magazine called Foreign Affairs.

He had a stint at the Columbia University as an adjunct professor and taught a seminar on international relations.He became editor of Newsweek International in October 2000 and contributed as a weekly columnist to Newsweek.Same year he remained the Annual Orator of the collegiate literary society called Philomathean Society of the University of Pennsylvania.

Fareed Zakaria is a contributing editor for the Atlantic Media group and writes a weekly column for ‘The Washington Post’.He has also written on varied subjects for ‘The New Republic’, ‘The New Yorker’, ‘The Wall Street Journal’, and ‘The New York Times’. He also contributed as a wine columnist for the online magazine ‘Slate’ for some time.

He has written several books including ‘From Wealth to Power: The Unusual Origins of America's World Role’ (1998); and the New York Times bestsellers – ‘The Future of Freedom’ (2003), ‘The Post-American World’ (2008), and ‘In Defense of a Liberal Education’ (2015). Of these ‘The Future of Freedom’ and ‘The Post-American World’ were translated in over 25 languages. He published an expanded edition of the latter in 2011.

From 2002 to 2007, he served as a news analyst in the ABC aired Sunday morning political affairs program ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos’ and featured as a member of the show’s Sunday morning roundtable.

Although initially he backed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, he later became a critic and expressed his disapproval of the war plan and censured the George W. Bush administration for its way of running the occupation of Iraq. He supported the de-Baathification programs and opposed the Iraq surge in March 2007.

Meanwhile from 2005 to 2008, for three seasons, Fareed Zakaria hosted the PBS aired American weekly, half-hour international affairs program called‘Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria’ (Presently named Foreign Exchange).

Since June 1, 2008, Zakaria has been hosting the weekly public affairs show called ‘Fareed Zakaria GPS’ on CNN that is aired across the globe by CNN International. The term ‘GPS’ in the title of the show stands for ‘Global Public Square’. The show, where Zakaria is seen heading a panel discussion and conducting a one-on-one interview in each of its instalment, airs twice weekly in the US and four times in a week on CNN International. The 10th anniversary of the show was celebrated on June 5, 2018.Zakaria has interviewed several dignitaries on the show including Tony Blair, and Barack Obama. The show bagged a Peabody Award in 2011, while Zakaria's interview with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao garnered an Emmy nomination for ‘Outstanding Interview’.

A self-identified ‘centrist’, Fareed Zakaria backed Obama during the 2008 Democratic primary campaign and for president. He was referred as one of the twenty-five most influential liberals in the American media by Forbes in January 2009. On March 20 that year, he received the India Abroad Person of the Year 2008 award in New York. He was also nominated for the National Magazine Award for five times for his columns and commentary and won it once.

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The Indian government conferred him with the Padma Bhushan award in January 2010 for his contributions in the field of journalism. He later received the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) Founders Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2020.

He joined ‘Time’as editor at-large and columnist in August 2010. Same year he returned the Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize, which he received from Anti-Defamation League 2005, protesting opposition of ADL in construction of the Park51 mosque and Islamic cultural center two blocks from the World Trade Center site.

In August 2012, Fareed Zakaria faced a week’s suspension as Time and CNN investigated a plagiarism allegation against him with regard to an August 20 column on gun control that had similarities with an article of New Yorker written by Jill Lepore. Zakaria was however re-instated by both Time and CNN after six days. Similar allegations involving Zakaria surfaced a few other times.

The Shane Smith created and hosted documentary TV series ‘Vice’ that premiered on April 5, 2013, on HBO uses Zakaria as a consultant. He is one of the executive producers of the show.

Fareed Zakaria is a member of the independent think tank called ‘Berggruen Institute’ that aims at reshaping political and social institutions. He also appears as an interlocutor for the institute’s annual award called the ‘Berggruen Prize’ that is given to someone significant in the field of philosophy.

He supported the Shayrat missile strike executed under US President Donald Trump on April 7, 2017, targeting the Shayrat Airbase controlled by the Syrian government.The strike was made in response to the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack that was carried out on April 4, that year.

He was conferred with honorary degrees from the University of Miami, Harvard University, the University of Oklahoma, Johns Hopkins University, Brown University, Bates College, Oberlin College, and Duke University.

Fareed Zakaria served as trustee of the governing body of Yale University called the Yale Corporation, and the Trilateral Commission.

He served on the boards of International House of Columbia University, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership of City College of New York.

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Family & Personal Life

Zakaria married jewelry designer Paula Throckmorton in 1997.A naturalized American citizen, Zakaria describes himself as a secular and non-practicing Muslim while Paula is a Christian. Together they have three children who have not been raised as Muslims. Paula filed for divorce in July 2018.

Zakaria presently lives in the Upper West Side in New York City.

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