Glenn Greenwald Biography


Birthday: March 6, 1967 (Pisces)

Born In: Queens, New York, United States

Glenn Greenwald is an American journalist, author and former attorney, known for his reporting on American and British global surveillance programs based on highly classified documents provided by Edward Snowden. For his NSA reporting, he and his team at The Guardian received the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service. He was even named one of the top 100 Global Thinkers of 2013 by Foreign Policy Magazine. Before working for The Guardian, he worked as a constitutional law and civil rights litigator, wrote for his own political and legal blog Unclaimed Territory and served as a contributing writer at Salon. Post his stint at The Guardian, he became one of the founding editors of the online publication, The Intercept, and continued working for it till October 2020. He is also the author of some of the Amazon and New York Times bestselling books including How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values From a President Run Amok and No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Glenn Edward Greenwald

Age: 56 Years, 56 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: David Miranda

father: Daniel Greenwald

mother: Arlene Greenwald

Born Country: United States

Journalists American Men

U.S. State: New Yorkers

More Facts

education: NYU School of Law, George Washington University

awards: EFF Pioneer Award
George Polk Award

Izzy Award
I. F. Stone Hall of Fame

Childhood & Early Life

Glenn Edward Greenwald was born on 6 March 1967, in a Jewish family, to Arlene and Daniel Greenwald.

He was born in New York city but soon after his birth, his parents shifted to Lauderdale Lakes, Florida.

In Florida, he studied at Nova Middle School and Nova High School. He then joined George Washington University and completed his BA in philosophy in 1990. Thereafter, he took admission in New York University School of Law and got his JD degree in 1994.

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Glenn Greenwald began his career in 1994 as an associate at the litigation department of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz law firm and worked there for eighteen months.

In 1996, he co-established his own litigation firm, Greenwald Christoph & Holland (later called Greenwald Christoph PC) and worked there for ten years till 2005. During his time there, he worked pro bono a lot. He represented controversial figures here including white supremacist neo-Nazi leader Matthew Hale.

In October 2005, he entered mainstream journalism and launched his own political-legal blog Unclaimed Territory which quickly became very famous. Amongst the various topics he covered were controversies regarding the Plame affair and NSA warrantless surveillance.

In May 2006, his first book How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values From a President Run Amok released and immediately grabbed the top spot on Amazon's Best Seller List. In the book, which also became a New York Times Best Seller, he criticised the Bush administration for its use of executive power.

In February 2007, he joined the American liberal news and opinion website Salon as a contributing writer. His articles here revolved around 2011 anthrax attack and John O Brennan’s appointment as the director of either CIA or DNI in President Obama’s administration.

His second book, A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency, was published in June 2007 and yet again became Amazon’s bestselling nonfiction book and entered the New York Times Best Seller list. The book dealt with the rise and fall of President George W Bush revealing his faulty ideals of good versus evil.

His third book, exposing and criticising the GOP’s deceitful propaganda to win elections, released in April 2008. The book was called Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics.

In an article in 2010, he criticised the prison condition in which Chelsea Manning – a former US Army soldier - was kept post her arrest by authorities. She was imprisoned for leaking classified and sensitive military and political documents to Wikileaks.

His fourth book, With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful, was released in October 2011 and as per its name criticises the two-tiered system of justice in America.

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After writing for five and half year for Salon, he quit to join the American wing of Britain’s The Guardian in 2012.

In June 2013, he reported about a top secret court order to one of America’s largest telecom provider, Verizon according to which the latter had to provide the NSA with telephone metadata for all calls between the U.S. and abroad, as well as all domestic calls.

The classified documents about the American and British global surveillance programs were provided by Edward Snowden and exposed, according to Glenn Greenwald, the scale of domestic surveillance under Obama.

In October 2013, he left The Guardian. In February next year, the newly established news organization, First Look Media launched its first online publication The Intercept. Along with Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill, Greenwald became one of its founding editor.

The year 2014 saw the release of his fifth book No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State. The book details on the state of surveillance in the United States and Greenwald’s own experiences in reporting the documents provided by Snowden. The book once again became one of New York Times best seller book.

In 2019, he and his journalist colleagues at The Intercept Brasil published a series of stories. These were related to serious ethical violations and legally prohibited collaboration between the judge and prosecutors involved in the corruption trial case that led to the imprisonment of the former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The alleged objective was to prevent Lula from contesting in the 2018 general elections.

The stories included various leaked text messages sent via Telegram between the investigative team members.

In the beginning of 2020, he was charged by Brazilian prosecutors with violating cybercrime laws, a move that was seen as a retaliation of his above reporting. However, the charges were dismissed just a month later by a federal judge.

In October 2020, he left The Intercept citing political censorship and contractual breaches by the editors as reasons. It was related to an article critical of Joe Biden which he later published on his Substack page.

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Awards & Achievements

In 2006, Glenn Greenwald’s blog won the 2005 Koufax Award for Best New Blog.

In 2009, along with Amy Goodman, Glenn Greenwald was honoured with the first annual Izzy Award (named after journalist I. F. Stone) for special achievement in independent media.

In 2010, his investigative work on the arrest and detention of Chelsea Manning bagged him Online Journalism Award.

His 2013 NSA reporting was recognised worldwide and he received a number of awards for it including the George Polk Award for National Security Reporting and the Esso Award for Excellence in Reporting. The second award is the Brazilian equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize and he became the first foreigner to win it.

His NSA reporting also got him the Pioneer Award from Electronic Frontier Foundation, Libertad de Expresion Internacional award from the Argentinian magazine Perfil and the investigative journalism award from Online News Association.

For the coverage of Edward Snowden and the NSA, Greenwald and his reporting team at The Guardian were honoured with the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for public service.

The same year, he won German literary award Geschwister-Scholl-Preis for his book No Place to Hide.

Family & Personal Life

Glenn Greenwald is openly gay and is married to his partner David Miranda since 2005. The couple have adopted two children – Joao and Jonathan - who are siblings.

The family lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and have 24 rescue dogs.

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