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David James Von Drehle (born 6 February 1961) is a writer and journalist. He has written three books and many journalistic articles in his 32 year career.
David Von Drehle earned his B.A in 1983 from the University of Denver, where he was also a Boettcher Foundation Scholar and editor of the Denver Clarion, the student newspaper. In 1985 Von Drehle graduated from Oxford University with a Masters in Literature as a Marshall Scholar.
Von Drehle started his career in journalism at 17 years old, working with The Denver Post as a sports writer from 1978 to 1983. Von Drehle was the youngest sports writer that the paper has had. From there he moved on to The Miami Herald in 1985 and stayed on with the paper until 1991 as a staff writer. In 1988 while writing for the Miami Herald Von Drehle was awarded a Livingston Award, which recognizes excellence in young journalism and is given annually to journalist younger than 35 years of age. Von Drehle was honored for a series titled "The Death Penalty: A Failure of Execution". He was 27 at the time of the award, the youngest of the three journalists recognized that year. The piece also garnered Von Drehle the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award for excellence in Media and the Arts in 1989. During his tenure with the Miami Herald, von Drehle also received an American Society of News Editors Distinguished Writing Award, and has subsequently been featured in ASNE's collections of America's Best Newspaper Writing.
In 1991 Von Drehle became the New York bureau chief for the Washington Post. A year later, he was sent to New Hampshire to cover the 1992 presidential primary, thus beginning his career as a political writer. He went on to be the editor of the Arts section, and the Assistant Managing Editor in charge of the Style section. By his own admission in an article in National Journal Von Drehle says, "I like to change gears every four or five years.". David Von Drehle left the Washington Post in 2006 to become Editor-at-Large for Time Magazine. He has gone on to write 160 articles while at Time. Notable examples include a cover piece on controversial talking head Glenn Beck titled "Mad Man" that appeared in the September, 2009 issue. Von Drehle has also been a recurring contributor to National Public Radio's Morning Edition, speaking on his interview of Bob Woodward and discussing his book on the Watergate scandal.
Among the Lowest of the Dead, 1995 (a narrative history and analysis of the modern death penalty system in Florida, winner of 1996 American Bar Association Silver Gavel honorable mention; “perhaps the finest book ever written about capital punishment" —Chicago Tribune).
Deadlock: The Inside Story of America’s Closest Election, 2001 (an account of the 2000 presidential recount in Florida, written with reporting by The Washington Post political staff; was a source book for the Emmy-winning HBO movie “Recount”).
Triangle: The Fire That Changed America, 2003 (Sidney Hillman Foundation book prize, New York Society Library book of the year, New York Times bestseller and Notable Book of the Year, Christopher Award winner, New York Public Library Book to Remember).
Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year will be released by Henry Holt and Co. in 2012.