Mona Charen

Mona Charen
Born 1957 (age 5859)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Alma mater

Barnard College

George Washington University Law School
Occupation Columnist, writer, political commentator, journalist
Spouse(s) Robert P. Parker
Children 3

Mona Charen (born 1957) is an American columnist, political analyst and author of two books: Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got it Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First (2003) and Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help (and the Rest of Us) (2005), both New York Times bestsellers. She was also a weekly panelist on CNN's Capital Gang until it was canceled. Her political stance is conservative.[1] Charen often writes about foreign policy, terrorism, politics, poverty, family structure, public morality, and culture. She is also known for her generally pro-Israel views.[2]

Early life and career

Charen was born in 1957 in New York City and was raised in Livingston, New Jersey, where she went to school with fellow journalist Ruth Marcus, starting "in fourth grade."[3] She received her B.A. from Barnard College in 1979 and a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School in 1984.


She wrote for National Review magazine, where she was an editorial assistant starting in 1979. Later she joined the staff of First Lady Nancy Reagan as a speechwriter.[4] She then worked on President Ronald Reagan's staff, in the White House Office of Public Liaison and in the Office of Communications.

Charen served as Jack Kemp's speechwriter in his unsuccessful 1988 presidential bid. She launched her syndicated column in 1987.[5] It is syndicated by Creators Syndicate and has been featured in more than 200 papers, including the Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Washington Times.[6]

Charen was a regular weekly commentator on CNN's The Capital Gang, which appeared on Saturdays. Following an on-air heated exchange with fellow panelist Al Hunt,[7] after which the two of them did not appear on the same panel for several weeks. Charen switched to Capital Gang Sunday when that program was launched, appearing until the program was canceled.

Her columns also appear online at National Review Online,, and the e-zine Jewish World Review.

Charen regularly appears on television, including Fox News, CNN, and other outlets, and participates as a commentator on radio, including NPR and other talk radio channels. She is a regular contributor to The Corner blog of National Review Online.

In 2010, Charen won the Eric Breindel Journalism Award.[8] Currently, she appears regularly on John Batchelor's radio show.

She and Jay Nordlinger host a regular podcast, Need to Know, on and National Review Online. They often discuss, in addition to current events and public policy, their mutual appreciation for classical music.

In June 2014, she became a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.[9]

In January 2016, Charen contributed to the National Review symposium against Donald Trump, writing, "Trump has made a career out of egotism, while conservatism implies a certain modesty about government. The two cannot mix."

Charen is married to Robert P. Parker, a Washington, D.C. lawyer. They have three sons: Jonathan, David, and Benjamin.[10]



  1. "Former Allies Torment Gingrich", Katharine Q. Seelye, The New York Times, March 8, 1997
  2. "Will Israel solve our problem?" January 20, 2006; "Did Israel Drive Out the Arabs 60 Years Ago?" May 9, 2008; "Israel's Enemies Within" January 7, 2011 – in the Jewish World Review
  3. Mona Charen and Ruth Marcus, C-SPAN Q&A (television), July 9, 2006. Accessed November 30, 2014. "BRIAN LAMB, C-SPAN: Ruth Marcus, can you remember the first time you met Mona Charen? RUTH MARCUS, AUTHOR: I can’t remember the first time but I can remember many other times in the middle there because we were – we both started in Livingston, New Jersey in fourth grade."
  4. Prentice-Hall biography
  5. "About Mona Charen, author of an opinion column that is syndicated by Creators Syndicate.".
  6. Creators Syndicate. Mona Charen Retrieved January 23, 2009.
  7. For Charen's version of the event and subsequent fallout, see "Prince of Darkness" by Mona Charen, National Review, July 25, 2007
  8. "Columnist Charen Wins Eric Breindel Award" Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2010
  9. "EPPC Flash: EPPC Welcomes Mona Charen as Senior Fellow". Ethics & Public Policy Center.
  10. Mona Charen biographical data from the NNDB database
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