John Avlon

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  • Senior Political Analyst and Anchor, CNN
  • Bestselling Author of "Washington's Farewell," "Wingnuts'," and "Lincoln & the Fight for Peace"
  • Former Editor-In-Chief of The Daily Beast

Many-time bestselling author, columnist, and commentator John Avlon has been called “a trusted, grounded, and welcome voice” emphasizing bipartisanship and real solutions. Avlon is a Senior Political Analyst and Anchor at CNN, known for his “Reality Check” segments across the network. He is an award-winning columnist and the author of Independent NationWingnutsWashington’s Farewell, and Lincoln & the Fight for Peace as well as co-editor of the acclaimed Deadline Artists journalism anthologies. He was the editor-in-chief and managing director of The Daily Beast between 2013 and 2018 and served as chief speechwriter for the Mayor of New York. Avlon’s essay, “The Resilient City” was selected to conclude Empire City: New York through the Centuries and won acclaim as “the single best essay written in the wake of 9/11.”

Avlon has appeared multiple times on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Real Time with Bill Maher, The Daily Show, PBS, and C-Span. He has spoken at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, the National Constitution Center, and other civic organizations around the nation. Avlon is also a co-founder of No Labels – a group of Democrats, Republicans and Independents dedicated to the politics of problem-solving and making government work again. Highly regarded for his shrewd analysis of the headlines of the day, offering historic perspective on the current political climate of the U.S., and the role of journalism in politics, Avlon offers reasoned discourse that focuses on real solutions.

 



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Past Hosts Include:
  • The Reagan Library
  • SXSW
  • National Constitution Center
  • Kennedy School of Government
  • LBJ Presidential Library
  • New York Historical Society
  • University of Texas Journalism School
  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • Foreign Policy Association
  • YPO
Rave Reviews About John Avlon as a Speaker
John Avlon got the annual Lincoln Forum off to an extraordinary start. Before some 300 attendees, he delivered a riveting lecture on the need for, and nature of, viable peacemaking after warfare ends. John is among the very few speakers, and scholars, in this country who are not only deeply grounded in their research and wholly original in their thinking, but also masterful in telling evocative and compelling stories—in spellbinding their audiences.

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Talks & Conversations with John Avlon
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Leadership Secrets of Washington and Lincoln: How to be a Uniter in Divided Times

They are America's two greatest presidents. But what qualities made George Washington and Abraham Lincoln such extraordinary leaders? Drawing on his books Washington's Farewell and Lincoln & the Fight for Peace, JOHN AVLON distils their different leadership styles to common themes, particularly ...

They are America's two greatest presidents. But what qualities made George Washington and Abraham Lincoln such extraordinary leaders? Drawing on his books Washington's Farewell and Lincoln & the Fight for Peace, JOHN AVLON distils their different leadership styles to common themes, particularly a wise balance between moral courage and moderation. Both men led by word and action. Washington helped forge our new nation's character with the example of his character. Lincoln preached "malice toward none" even at the height of the Civil War out of his determination to achieve reconciliation and reunification. They were loved and hated in their time, but they never lost faith that there is always more that unites us than divides us as Americans.

Reality Check: Americans Are Less Divided Than We Seem

Bestselling author and CNN Senior Analyst JOHN AVLON delivers a reasoned approach to the politics of problem-solving, offering a unique centrist perspective on the current state of politics in the U.S. Heralded for his solutions-oriented approach, Avlon’s expertise spans politics, journalism, and di ...

Bestselling author and CNN Senior Analyst JOHN AVLON delivers a reasoned approach to the politics of problem-solving, offering a unique centrist perspective on the current state of politics in the U.S. Heralded for his solutions-oriented approach, Avlon’s expertise spans politics, journalism, and discourse while informing and entertaining audiences.

The Future of Journalism

Acclaimed commentator JOHN AVLON has produced award-winning journalism across mediums and shares keen insights about the future of journalism in this wide-ranging talk. Drawing on his anthologies Deadline Artists and his tenure as the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Beast, Avlon offers a substantial vi ...

Acclaimed commentator JOHN AVLON has produced award-winning journalism across mediums and shares keen insights about the future of journalism in this wide-ranging talk. Drawing on his anthologies Deadline Artists and his tenure as the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Beast, Avlon offers a substantial view of the state of journalism and how it will shape business, politics, and culture in the future.

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<p><strong>John Avlon draws on history to inspire uniting leadership</strong></p>

John Avlon draws on history to inspire uniting leadership

Author, journalist, and historian JOHN AVLON breaks down the traits of uniting leaders by drawing on the stories and lessons learned in U.S. politics. Referencing his books Washington's Farewell and Lincoln & the Fight for Peace, Avlon looks back at great leaders in history to detail the careful balance between moral courage and moderation required to inspire communities. Applicable to any setting from Congress to the boardroom, Avlon details how to recognize and embody the traits of a great leader.

Watch John Avlon in conversation with the American Enterprise Institute >>

Watch John Avlon’s keynote on “Citizenship by Choice” >> 

<p><strong>John Avlon inspires civic action from</strong> ‘<strong>The Late Show’ to JFK Library and graduation addresses with his book on President Abraham Lincoln’s fight for peace</strong></p>

John Avlon inspires civic action fromThe Late Show’ to JFK Library and graduation addresses with his book on President Abraham Lincoln’s fight for peace

Author, journalist anchor and historian, JOHN AVLON brought his compelling centrist message to audiences ranging from the JFK Presidential Library and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to a graduation address at Milton Academy on his book tour for Lincoln and the Fight for Peace.  

John Avlon is widely known for his skill in uniting Americans across the aisle by asking audiences to view civic responsibility from a broader perspective, rooted in the best lessons from our history. He addresses the need to defend democracy and civil society at a level that resonates with any audience. When encouraging Milton Academy’s young graduates to participate in civic life, he said, “Part of life in a liberal democracy like ours is giving a damn about civics and politics. That’s the price we pay to be citizens and not subjects.” His charisma, humor, and clear passion for uniting people inspired students to consider how to build a better future for us all.  

When speaking, John Avlon presents our problems with a sense of perspective, weaving stories from American history into his talks. On the national stage with Stephen Colbert, Avlon distilled Lincoln’s beliefs into “the politics of the Golden Rule: treat others as you would like to be treated.” Applying Lincoln’s famous words to contemporary challenges, Avlon reaches across partisan barriers by engaging audiences with applied history and universal truths.  

See Avlon deliver excerpts from Lincoln at Milton Academy, the JFK Presidential Library and on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert here >>  

<p><strong>John Avlon & Margaret Hoover: The political media power couple uniting U.S. Americans in divided times </strong></p>

John Avlon & Margaret Hoover: The political media power couple uniting U.S. Americans in divided times 

Political power couple JOHN AVLON and MARGARET HOOVER have dedicated their lives to fostering civil conversations across political divides. Avlon, an outspoken centrist, and Hoover, a moderate Republican, bridge party lines daily at the kitchen table. Hoover’s experience working in the George W. Bush White House, on Capitol Hill, on two presidential campaigns, and at the Department of Homeland Security have informed her knowledge of policy making and national politics. She is pro-choice and supports LGBT freedom and seeks for the GOP to draw on the intellectual history of the modern American conservative movement while meeting the challenges of today with new policy solutions. She is also an advocate of election reforms that will allow the GOP to appeal to a broader group of Americans and become a competitive national party once again.

John Avlon, a Senior Political Analyst and Anchor at CNN, is known for his ability to engage audiences across the aisle. The Charleston Library Society said, “The single most popular and compelling speaker we have hosted over the last 14 years has been John Avlon. Not only is he remarkably articulate, profoundly thoughtful and balanced in his intellectual perspectives, but his charm, humor and accessibility produce overwhelming accolades at every presentation." Avlon’s unique skill in weaving real stories into his calls for solution-oriented political conversation contribute to his success both as a political commentator in media and for live events.  

Together, Avlon and Hoover delight audiences with stories of U.S. history, ranging from Avlon’s love of Lincoln and George Washington to Hoover’s heritage as U.S. President Herbert Hoover’s great-granddaughter (yes, their home is full of presidential memorabilia). Most importantly, the pair leverages stories of the nation’s past to convey the patriotic truth that there is always more that unites us than divides us as Americans. This fuels their passionate banter and deep belief in the importance of bipartisanship and moving our national conversation from problems to solutions while finding common ground.

Watch John Avlon’s keynote on “Citizenship by Choice” >> 

Watch highlights of Margaret Hoover on PBS’ Firing Line >> 

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Biography

John Avlon is an author, columnist and commentator. He is a senior political analyst and anchor at CNN, known for his "Reality Check" segments across the network. From 2013 to 2018, he was the editor-in-chief and managing director of The Daily Beast, during which time the site’s traffic more than doubled to over one million readers a day while winning 17 journalism awards.  He is the author of the books Lincoln and the Fight for Peace, Independent Nation, Wingnuts, and Washington’s Farewell as well as co-editor of the acclaimed Deadline Artists journalism anthologies. Avlon served as chief speechwriter to New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists award for best online column in 2012.

After the attacks of September 11th, 2001, he and his team were responsible for writing the eulogies for all firefighters and police officers murdered in the destruction of the World Trade Center. Avlon’s essay on the attacks, “The Resilient City” concluded the anthology Empire City: New York through the Centuries and won acclaim as “the single best essay written in the wake of 9/11.”

His first book, Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics was described by Barron’s as “a rewarding portrait of a political trend the established parties have tried to ignore” and hailed by TheModerateVoice.com as “the best political book ever on American centrist voters.”

Wingnuts: How The Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America was praised by President Bill Clinton, who said “Wingnuts offers a clear and comprehensive review of the forces on the outer edges of the political spectrum that shape and distort our political debate. Shedding more heat than light they drive frustrated alienated citizens away from the reasoned discourse that can produce real solutions to our problems.”

The two Deadline Artists anthologies, which Avlon co-edited with Jesse Angelo and Errol Louis won acclaim from the Washington Post as “one of the greatest collections of newspaper articles ever compiled” while the American Journalism Review described it as “the most addictive journalism book ever.”

Avlon has appeared on The Daily Show, Late Show with Stephen Colbert, CNN, Real Time with Bill Maher, PBS, and C-Span.  He has spoken at the Kennedy School of Government, the Citadel, the State Department’s visiting journalist program, and civic organizations around the nation.

He serves on the board of Citizens Union of New York and The Bronx Academy of Letters as well as the advisory board of the Theodore Roosevelt Association.  He was appointed to the New York City Voter Assistance Advisory Committee in 2011.  Avlon is also a co-founder of No Labels – a group of Democrats, Republicans and Independents dedicated to the politics of problem-solving and making government work again.

In a profile, author Stephen Marshall wrote “Avlon talks about politics the way ESPN anchors wrap up sports highlights.” Columnist Kathleen Parker wrote, “Americans who are fed up with the Ann Coulter/Michael Moore school of debate and are looking for someone to articulate a commonsense, middle path, may have found their voice in John Avlon.”

He is married to Margaret Hoover, the author of American Individualism and host of PBS’s Firing Line. The New York Times says, “Their telegenic union may be a lesson in overcoming the orthodoxies that divide us.” They live in New York City with their son, Jack and daughter, Toula Lou.