Gary Younge is an author, broadcaster and editor-at-large for The Guardian, based in London. He also writes a monthly column, Beneath the Radar, for the Nation magazine and is the Alfred Knobler Fellow for The Nation Institute. He has written four books, The Speech, The Story Behind Martin Luther King’s Dream, Who Are We?, And Should it Matter in the 21st century, Stranger in a Strange Land, Travels in the Disunited States and No Place Like Home, A Black Briton’s Journey Through the Deep South. Gary has made several radio and television documentaries on subjects ranging from the tea party to hip hop culture.
Born in Hertfordshire to Barbadian parents, he grew up in Stevenage until he was 17 when he went to teach English in a United Nations Eritrean refugee school in Sudan with Project Trust. On his return he went to Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh where he studied French and Russian, Translating and Interpreting. While at Heriot Watt he was elected Vice President (Welfare) of the Student Association, a paid sabbatical post he held for a year.
In his final year of at university he was awarded a bursary from the Guardian to study journalism at City University. Following a brief internship for Yorkshire Television he started at The Guardian in 1993. In 1996 he was awarded the prestigious Laurence Stern Fellowship, which sends a young British journalist to work at the Washington Post for three months. From 2001 to 2003 he won Best Newspaper Journalist in Britain’s Ethnic Minority Media Awards three years in a row.
After several years of reporting from all over Europe, Africa, the US and the Caribbean Gary was appointed The Guardian’s New York correspondent in 2003. His first book, No Place Like Home, published in 1999, was shortlisted for the Guardian’s first book award. His third book, Who Are We?, published in 2010, was shortlisted for the Bristol Festival of Ideas Prize. In 2009 he won the James Cameron award for the “combined moral vision and professional integrity” of his coverage of the Obama campaign. In 2015 he was awarded Foreign Commentator of the Year by The UK Comment Awards and the David Nyhan Prize for political journalism from Harvard’s Shorenstein Center. “It’s the powerless on whose behalf he writes,” said the Center’s director. In 2016 he won an award from the Sandford St Martin Trust, which promotes “excellence in religious reporting,” for radio documentary about how American evangelicals were grappling with gay marriage. The Judges described it as: “a classic example of thoughtful and vividly expressed interviews bringing light and understanding to a contentious issue.”
In 2007 he was awarded Honorary Doctorates by both his alma mater, Heriot Watt University, and London South Bank University. In 2009 he was appointed the Belle Zeller Visiting Professor for Public Policy and Social Administration at Brooklyn College (CUNY), where he taught both graduates and undergraduates for two years.
In 2011 he moved to Chicago. In 2015 he returned to London with his wife and two children.