C.J. Chivers is a senior writer for The New York Times, where he reports for the Foreign and Investigative desks, covering conflict, crime, the arms trade and human rights. His work also appears on the NYT’s At War and Lens blogs. He is a frequent contributor to Esquire, an occasional contributor to other publications and the author of THE GUN (Simon & Schuster, 2010), a history of automatic arms and their influence on human security and war. The book was selected as a New York Times Editor’s Pick and a Best Book of 2010 by The Atlantic and The Washington Post.
Born in upstate New York in 1964, Mr. Chivers graduated cum laude from Cornell University in January 1988. From 1988 until 1994, he was an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps, serving in the Persian Gulf war and performing peacekeeping duties as a company commander during the Los Angeles riots in 1992. He also graduated from several military schools, including the U.S. Army’s Ranger Course. He was honorably discharged as a captain in 1994.
In 1995 Mr. Chivers was valedictorian of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and became a staff writer at The Providence Journal in Rhode Island, where he worked until 1999, covering crime and politics. He was also a contributor to the op-ed page of USA Today and several magazines, writing on wildlife, natural history and conservation. He joined The Times in 1999.
From 1999 until 2001 he was a Metro reporter covering crime and law enforcement in New York City, working in a three-reporter bureau inside the police headquarters in lower Manhattan. While in this bureau, he covered the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Since then, he was worked overseas, principally covering conflict but also crime, corruption, security and election fraud in the former Soviet Union.
In 1996, Mr. Chivers received the Livingston Award for International Journalism for a series on the collapse of commercial fishing in the North Atlantic. Two of his articles in The Times from Afghanistan were cited in the award of the Pultizer Prize for Public Service in 2002, and in 2009 he was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for coverage of America’s military and political challenges in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In 2007 he received a National Magazine Award for Reporting and a Michael Kelly Award for the Fearless Pursuit and Expression of Truth for the reconstruction in Esquire of the terrorist siege at a public school in Beslan. In 2010 his field dispatches from Iraq and Afghanistan were selected by New York University as being among the Top Ten Works of Journalism of the Decade in the United States. He was a finalist for the Batten Medal the same year. For his work covering the wars in Libya and Afghanistan in 2011 he received the George Polk Award for Military Reporting and the Hal Boyle Award from the Overseas Press Club for the best newspaper or news agency reporting from abroad. For his work in Syria in 2012 he received, with Ben Hubbard of the Associated Press, the Medill Courage in Journalism Medal, and with Ben Solomon, a video producer working for The New York Times, first place and an Award of Excellence in the Pictures of the Year International News Multimedia category.
An interview with Esquire: What I’ve Learned.
An interview with NPR’s Fresh Air.
An interview on mediabistro.
Since returning from Russia in 2008, Mr. Chivers has lived with his wife, Suzanne Keating, and their five children in New England, where they fish, read and raise as much of their own food as they can.