Michael Wolff, an American author, essayist and journalist, has written Fire and Fury, a book that portrays a chaotic initial year for the presidency of Donald Trump. What’s his background?

Michael Wolff

Age: 64

Early life: Wolff was born in New Jersey to a father who worked in advertising and a mother who was a newspaper reporter. He attended Columbia University in New York and worked as a copy boy at The New York Times while in school. 

The journalist: Wolff published his first book of essays, White Kids, in 1979. He was most recently a media critic and columnist for USA Today, Hollywood Reporter, New York Magazine and, before that, Vanity Fair and Newser. 

In 2011, he briefly was at the helm of AdWeek magazine, but left after less than a year. 

The author: In 1997, he wrote the bestseller Burn Rate, about his early dotcom company Wolff New Media.

In 2004 he published Autumn of the Moguls, about the decline of mainstream media that would occur later in the decade.

He was perhaps best known for his 2009 biography of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, The Man Who Owns the News.

Accolades: Wolff has won two National Magazine Awards, which recognize excellence in the magazine industry in both print and digital mediums.

One of the awards was for a series of columns he wrote from the Middle East at the start of the Iraq War in 2003. 

Controversies: Wolff’s work has often drawn criticism from his fellow journalists as well as his subjects. Just before the publication of The Man Who Owns the News, Murdoch took issue with several parts of the book, just as U.S. President Donald Trump has over Wolff’s latest work. 

In a 2004 cover story for The New Republic, reporter Michelle Cottle characterized Wolff’s writing by saying that “even Wolff acknowledges that conventional reporting is not his bag.” Rather, she said, “he absorbs the atmosphere and gossip swirling around him at cocktail parties, on the street, and especially during those long lunches.”

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