Johann Hari is an award-winning journalist who writes twice-weekly for the Independent, one of Britain's leading newspapers, and the Huffington Post. He is a contributing writer for Slate, and regularly appears on the BBC's Newsnight Review.
His work has also appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Le Monde, Le Monde Diplomatique, The New Republic, El Mundo, The Guardian, The Melbourne Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, South Africa's Star, The Irish Times, and a wide range of other international newspapers and magazines.
He has reported from Iraq, the Gaza Strip, the Congo, Bangladesh, India, Venezuela, Rwanda, Peru, Ethiopia, Mexico, the Central African Republic, Syria and the United States.
He has interviewed many global leaders and thinkers, including the Dalai Lama, Tony Blair, Hugo Chavez, George Michael, Dolly Parton, Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Bill Buckley, Simon Peres, Martin McGuiness, Gerry Adams, Wangari Maathai, Malali Joya, Gore Vidal, Abu Hamza, Chuck Palahniuk and others. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN, NBC's Today program, the BBC's , Question Time, Head-to-Head, Dateline: London, Newsnight and the Moral Maze, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and others.
He has won many of the biggest awards in British journalism. In 2010, he won the Martha Gellhorn Prize, and became the youngest person ever to be short-listed for Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards. In 2009, he was named Journalist of the Year by Stonewall. In 2008 he became the youngest person to ever win the George Orwell Prize, Britain's leading award for political writing. He was named 'Journalist of the Year' for his reporting on the war in Congo by Amnesty International in 2007. in 2009. He was named 'Cultural Commentator of the Year' for his arts criticism at the Editorial Inteligence awards in 2009. His reporting from Bangladesh was named the 'Story of the Year' at the most recent Environmental Press Awards.
He was born in Glasgow but has lived in London since he was a year old. His father was a bus driver, while his mother worked in a shelter for victims of domestic violence. He studied Social and Political Science at King's College, Cambridge, and graduated with a Double First, He began his career as a staff reporter for the New Statesman in 2001, and has also been a columnist for the Evening Standard, London's newspaper. He is now a Senior Contributing Editor to Attitude, Britain's best-selling gay magazine, and he is a patron of the magazine Safer Society, which campaigns for more liberal and rehabilitative law and order policies.
His first book, 'God Save the Queen?', was published in 2003. Christopher Hitchens called it 'superb', commenting, "This is the plain proof of the child-sacrifice that stands at the centre of our most sinister institution." Julie Burchill said, "I love this book! It's like eating a whole box of chocolates all in one go." It was described as "brilliant" by Victor-Lewis Smith in the Evening Standard and "excellent" by Janet Street-Porter in the Independent on Sunday.
His play, 'Going Down in History', was performed at the Garage Theatre, Edinburgh in 2002 to critical acclaim. It was described as "a thoroughly entertaining, rather sexy attempt to put the personal into the political" by Lynn Gardner in the Guardian and as "excellent" by the Telegraph's Charles Spencer, who called Johann "the new David Hare."
Since he began work as a journalist, Johann has been attacked by the National Review, the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, John Pilger, Daniel '007' Craig, Peter Mandelson, Peter Oborne, Private Eye, the Socialist Worker, Cristina Odone, Jon Gaunt, the Spectator, Andrew Neil, Mark Steyn, the British National Party, Medialens, al Muhajaroun and Richard Littlejohn. 'Prince' Turki Al-Faisal, the Saudi Ambassador to Britain, has accused Johann of "waging a private jihad against the House of Saud". (He's right). Johann has been called 'a creepy little slimeball' by Larry Flynt, 'Maoist' by Nick Cohen, 'Horrible Hari' by Niall Ferguson, "an uppity little queer" by Bruce Anderson, 'a drug addict' by George Galloway, "fat" by the Dalai Lama and "a cunt" by Busted