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Ben Shapiro
Ben Shapiro (42913418281) (cropped).jpg
Shapiro in 2018
Born
Benjamin Aaron Shapiro

(1984-01-15) January 15, 1984 (age 40)
Education University of California, Los Angeles (BA)
Harvard University (JD)
Occupation
  • Political commentator
  • media host
  • columnist
  • attorney
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)
Mor Toledano
(m. 2008)
Children 3
Relatives Nat Mayer Shapiro (grandfather)
Mara Wilson (cousin)

Benjamin Aaron Shapiro (born January 15, 1984) is an American conservative political commentator, media host, columnist and author. At age 17, he became the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in the United States. Shapiro writes columns for Creators Syndicate, Newsweek, and Ami Magazine, and serves as editor emeritus for The Daily Wire, which he founded. Shapiro is the host of The Ben Shapiro Show, a daily political podcast and live radio show. He was editor-at-large of Breitbart News between 2012 and 2016. Shapiro has written eleven books.

Early life

Shapiro was born in Los Angeles, California, to a Conservative Jewish family of Russian-Jewish and Lithuanian-Jewish ancestry. When he was 9 years old, his family transitioned to Orthodox Judaism. He started playing violin at a young age and performed at the Israel Bonds Banquet in 1996 at twelve years of age. His parents both worked in Hollywood. His mother was an executive of a TV company, and his father David Shapiro worked as a composer.

Skipping two grades (third and ninth), Shapiro went from Walter Reed Middle School in The Valley to Yeshiva University High School of Los Angeles in Westside, Los Angeles, where he graduated in 2000 at age 16. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2004 summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, at age 20, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, and then from Harvard Law School in 2007 cum laude. He then worked at the law offices of Goodwin Procter. As of March 2012, he ran an independent legal consultancy firm, Benjamin Shapiro Legal Consulting, in Los Angeles.

Career

Author

Shapiro became interested in politics at a young age. He started a nationally syndicated column when he was 17 and had written two books by age 21.

In his first book Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth (2004), Shapiro argues that the American Left has ideological dominance over universities and that professors do not tolerate non-left opinions.

In 2011, HarperCollins published Shapiro's fourth book, Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV, in which Shapiro argues that Hollywood has a left-wing agenda that it actively promotes through prime-time entertainment programming. In the book, the producers of Happy Days and M*A*S*H say they pursued a pro-pacifist, anti-Vietnam-War agenda in those series. Shapiro also became a fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

In 2013, Threshold Editions published Shapiro's fifth book, Bullies: How the Left's Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans.

In 2017, he released his first and to date only fiction novel, True Allegiance.

In 2019, Shapiro published the book The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great, which focuses on the importance of Judaeo-Christian values and laments the decline of those values in modern America. In a May 2019 interview on BBC where Shapiro was promoting his book, interviewer Andrew Neil suggested that Shapiro's history of remarks were inconsistent with the message of the book. Shapiro took offense to the questioning, accused Neil (a prominent British conservative journalist) of having a left-leaning bias, said Neil was trying to make a "quick buck... off of the fact that I'm popular and no one has ever heard of you", before Shapiro ended the interview. Shapiro later admitted that he had been "destroyed" by Neil, commenting on Twitter that he "[had broken his] own rule, and wasn't properly prepared".

In 2021, Shapiro published the book The Authoritarian Moment, which argues that there is not a pressing authoritarian threat in U.S. politics from the right-wing. Rather, he argues that the authoritarian threat comes from the left's control of academia, Hollywood, journalism, and corporate America.

Columnist

Ben Shapiro june 26 2016 cropped retouched
Shapiro speaking at Politicon in Pasadena, California in 2016

In 2012, Shapiro became editor-at-large of Breitbart News, a website founded by Andrew Breitbart. In March 2016, Shapiro resigned from his position as editor-at-large of Breitbart News following what he characterized as the website's lack of support for reporter Michelle Fields in response to her alleged assault by Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump's former campaign manager, in spite of video and eyewitness evidence of the assault. In his resignation statement, Shapiro stated that "Steve Bannon is a bully," Donald Trump is a bully, and that Bannon had "shaped the company into Trump's personal Pravda." After Shapiro's departure, Breitbart published a piece, falsely attributed to Shapiro's father's pseudonym, saying "Ben Shapiro betrays loyal Breitbart readers in pursuit of Fox News contributorship," which Breitbart later deleted.

After leaving Breitbart News, Shapiro was a frequent target of antisemitic rhetoric from the alt-right. According to a 2016 analysis by the Anti-Defamation League, Shapiro was the most frequent target of antisemitic tweets against journalists.

On February 7, 2013, Shapiro published an article citing unspecified Senate sources who said that a group named "Friends of Hamas" was among foreign contributors to the political campaign of Chuck Hagel, a former U.S. Senator awaiting confirmation as Secretary of Defense as a nominee of President Barack Obama, but weeks later Slate reporter David Weigel reported there was no evidence such a group existed. Shapiro told Weigel that the story he published was "the entirety of the information [he] had."

On October 7, 2013, Shapiro and business partner Jeremy Boreing co-founded TruthRevolt, a U.S. media watchdog and activism website, in association with the David Horowitz Freedom Center. TruthRevolt ceased operations in March 2018.

On January 14, 2021, Shapiro was featured as a guest writer for Politico's Playbook newsletter, where he defended House Republicans who opposed the second impeachment of Donald Trump. The newsletter drew immense backlash from many Politico staffers, some of whom argued that Shapiro should not have been allowed to write the article. Matthew Kaminski, editor in chief of Politico, refused to apologize and defended the decision to allow Shapiro to write the article, stating that, "We're not going to back away from having published something because some people think it was a mistake to do so." According to the Daily Beast, more than 100 Politico staffers signed on to a letter to publisher Robert Allbritton criticizing both Politico's decision to feature Shapiro's article and the response from Kaminski.

Host

Ben Shapiro 2018
Shapiro in 2018

In 2012, Shapiro joined KRLA-AM 870 as a host on their morning radio program alongside Heidi Harris and Brian Whitman. By 2016, he was one of the hosts for KRLA's The Morning Answer, a conservative radio show. Internal emails showed that Shapiro faced pressure from Salem Media executives, the syndicate that owned the show, to be more supportive of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election. Shapiro however remained highly critical of Trump throughout the election.

Shapiro and Boreing founded The Daily Wire on September 21, 2015. He serves as editor emeritus as well as the host of his online political podcast The Ben Shapiro Show, broadcast every weekday. As of March 2019, the podcast was ranked by Podtrac as the second most popular podcast in the U.S. Westwood One began syndicating The Ben Shapiro Show podcast to radio in April 2018. In 2018, Politico described the podcast as "massively popular". In January 2019, Westwood One expanded Shapiro's one-hour podcast-to-radio program, adding a nationally syndicated two-hour live radio show, for three hours of Ben Shapiro programming daily. As of March 2019, according to Westwood One, The Ben Shapiro Show is being carried by more than 200 stations, including in nine of the top ten markets. In June 2020, Shapiro stepped down from his role as editor-in-chief, which he had held since the site's founding, and took on the role of editor emeritus.

In September 2018, Shapiro started hosting The Ben Shapiro Election Special on Fox News. The limited-run series covered news and issues relating to the 2018 midterm elections.

Shapiro has made frequent appearances on PragerU with talks on intersectionality and Hollywood with 4,900,000 to 8,400,000 views as of December 2018.

In 2021, Ben Shapiro's podcast was ranked as the 9th most listened on Apple podcasts.

Speaker

Conservative Political Action Conference 2018 Ben Shapiro (39798514014)
Shapiro speaking at CPAC 2018

Shapiro speaks at college campuses across the United States. In his speeches, he often presents a conservative viewpoint on controversial subjects. He spoke at 37 campuses between early 2016 and late 2017.

Some students and faculty members at California State University, Los Angeles objected to a speech that Shapiro, who was then an editor at Breitbart News, was scheduled to hold at the university on February 25, 2016, titled "When Diversity Becomes a Problem". University president William Covino canceled the speech three days before it was to take place, with the intention of rescheduling it so that the event could feature various viewpoints on the subject of campus diversity. Covino ultimately reversed his decision, allowing the speech to go on as planned. The day of the speech, student protesters formed human chains, blocking the doors to the event and staging sit-in protests. When Shapiro began his speech, a protester pulled the fire alarm. After the speech ended, Shapiro was escorted out by campus police. Young America's Foundation announced it was filing a lawsuit against the university (with Shapiro as one of the plaintiffs), claiming that the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of the students were violated by Covino's attempted cancellation of the event as well as by the physical barricading of students from entering or leaving the event.

In August 2016, DePaul University revoked an invitation for Shapiro to address students at the school and barred him from entering the campus owing to "security concerns."

On September 14, 2017, Shapiro gave a speech at the invitation of the University of California, Berkeley student organization Berkeley College Republicans in which he criticized identity politics. The event involved a large police presence, which had been promised by Berkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ in her August letter that supported free speech. Together, the university and the city of Berkeley spent $600,000 on police and security for the event, which transpired with nine arrests but no major incidents.

Personal life

Shapiro's sister is an opera singer who also posts right-wing videos on YouTube, on her channel Classically Abby. She has been subjected to online antisemitic trolling due to her brother's high public profile. Shapiro is a cousin of writer and actress Mara Wilson, though the two are not on speaking terms due to their conflicting political views.

In 2008, Shapiro married Mor Toledano, an Israeli medical doctor of Moroccan descent, and they lived in Los Angeles. The couple has two daughters and a son. They practice Orthodox Judaism. In 2019, the FBI arrested a man from Washington for making death threats against Shapiro and his family.

In September 2020, Shapiro announced that he and his family were moving out of California. Shapiro relocated the headquarters of his Daily Wire enterprise to Nashville, Tennessee, but he resettled in South Florida.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Ben Shapiro para niños

  • Intellectual dark web, a loose collection of public personalities of which Shapiro is often cited as an example
  • Owning the libs
  • List of Phi Beta Kappa members by year of admission
  • List of Harvard Law School alumni
  • List of syndicated columnists
  • List of American conservatives
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