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Wolf Isaac Blitzer (born March 22, 1948) is an Americanmarker journalist who has been a CNN reporter since 1990. Blitzer is currently the host of the newscast The Situation Room and was the host of the Sunday talk show Late Edition until it was discontinued on January 11, 2009. Blitzer previously hosted Wolf Blitzer Reports, which was replaced by The Situation Room.

Early life

Wolf Blitzer, who has the same first name as his maternal grandfather, was born in Augsburgmarker, Germany and raised in Buffalo, New Yorkmarker, the son of Jewish refugees from Poland. Blitzer graduated from Kenmore West Senior High Schoolmarker and received a B.A. in history from the University at Buffalo in 1970. While there, he was a brother of Alpha Epsilon Pi. In 1972, he received an M.A. in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.


Blitzer began his career in journalism in the early 1970s in the Tel Avivmarker bureau of the Reuters news agency. In 1973 he caught the eye of Jerusalem Post editor Ari Rath, who hired Blitzer as a Washington correspondent for the English language Israelimarker newspaper. Blitzer would remain with the Post until 1990, covering both Americanmarker politics and developments in the Middle East.

During his tenure with the Post, Blitzer interviewed several American Presidents and Secretaries of State and broke news from Lebanonmarker, Egyptmarker and Jordanmarker. At the time, he was perhaps best known for his coverage of the arrest and trial of Jonathan Pollard, an Israeli spy in American naval intelligence. Blitzer was the first journalist to interview Pollard, and he would later write a book about the Pollard Affair titled Territory of Lies.

Sometime in the mid-1970s, Blitzer also worked for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee as the editor of their monthly in house publication, the Near East Report. While at AIPAC, Blitzer's journalism focused on Middle East affairs as it relates to United States foreign policy.

At an April 1977 White Housemarker press conference, Blitzer asked Egyptianmarker leader Anwar Sadat why Egyptian scholars, athletes and journalists were not permitted to visit Israel. Sadat, somewhat taken aback, responded that such visits would be possible after an end to the state of belligerence between the two nations. This was the first time Sadat said that peace between Israel and Egypt was possible. In November of that year, Sadat made a historic visit to Israel, and Blitzer covered the negotiations between the two countries from the first joint Israeli-Egyptian press conference in 1977 to the final negotiations that would lead to the signing of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty two years later.

In May 1990, Blitzer moved to CNN and worked as the cable network's military affairs reporter. Blitzer spent a month in Moscowmarker in 1991, and was one of the first Western reporters to visit KGBmarker headquarters. His team's coverage of the first Gulf War in Kuwaitmarker won a CableACE Award and made him a household name. In 1992 Blitzer became CNN's White House correspondent, a position he would hold until 1999. During this period, he earned an Emmy Award for his coverage of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombingmarker. In 1998, he began hosting the CNN Sunday morning interview program Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, which was seen in over 180 countries. Blitzer's first assignment as an anchor was on the daily newscast The World Today, in 1999. In 2000, he started anchoring his own show, Wolf Blitzer Reports. CNN selected Blitzer to anchor their coverage of the 2004 presidential election and the 2008 presidential election. Since August 8, 2005, Blitzer has hosted The Situation Room, a three-hour afternoon/early evening program on CNN.


Blitzer has won awards including the 2004 Journalist Pillar of Justice Award from the Respect for Law Alliance and the 2003 Daniel Pearl Award from the Chicago Press Veterans Association. His news team was among those awarded a George Foster Peabody Award for coverage of Hurricane Katrina, an Alfred I. DuPont Award for coverage of the 1999 Southeast Asian tsunami, and an Edward R. Murrow Award for CNN's coverage of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

In November 2002, he won the American Veteran Awards' Ernie Pyle Journalism Award for military reporting. In February 2000, he received the Anti-Defamation League’s Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize. In 1999, Blitzer won the International Platform Association's Lowell Thomas Broadcast Journalism Award. Blitzer won an Emmy Award for his coverage of the Oklahoma City bombingmarker. Blitzer was also part of the CNN team that was awarded a Golden ACE award for their 1991 Gulf War reporting. In 1994, American Journalism Review cited him and CNN as the readers' choice for the Best in the Business Award for network coverage of the Clinton administration.

Other work

Blitzer is the author of two books: Between Washington and Jerusalem: A Reporter's Notebook (Oxford University Press, 1985) and Territory of Lies (Harper and Row, 1989). Territory of Lies, a nonfiction book about Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, was included in The New York Times list of "Notable Books of the Year" for 1989. In its review, the Times praised the book as "lucid and highly readable" and called Blitzer's "judgment of Israeli officials" "harsh but fair".A review in The New York Review of Books was more critical, prompting a letter from Blitzer accusing the reviewer of making several inaccurate statements. Reviewer Robert I. Friedman responded to Blitzer's criticism, saying that: "Territory of Lies is a slick piece of damage control that would make his [Blitzer's] former employers at AIPAC (not to mention Israel's Defense Ministry) proud."

Blitzer appears as himself in the 2009 documentary "Back Door Channels: The Price of Peace." The film deals with the back room negotiations that lead to the historic 1979 Peace Treaty between Israel and Egypt. At the time, Blitzer was the Washington Bureau Chief of the Jerusalem Post, and played a key role in establishing a back channel of communications between Israel and the White House by introducing Pres. Carter's General Counsel, Robert Lipshutz, to New York businessman, Leon Charney, a close friend of then Israeli Defense Minister Ezer Weizman. The flow of information between Weizman and Carter, via Charney and Lipshutz, ultimately proved decisive in sealing the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. It is widely believed that the resulting peace is due largely to Weizman's efforts to convince Prime Minister Menachem Begin to continue his efforts at solidifying a peace agreement, and that his "back door" communications channels with Carter were instrumental in this process.

On September 17, 2009, Blitzer competed on an episode of Celebrity Jeopardy!, finishing the Double Jeopardy round with −$4,600. He was given $1,000 to bet in Final Jeopardy!, finishing with $2,000 and ultimately losing to comedian Andy Richter, who won $68,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospitalmarker.


Blitzer and his wife Lynn Greenfield, live in Bethesda, Marylandmarker, and have one daughter, Ilana.  


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