David James Von Drehle (born February 6, 1961) is an American author and journalist.
Von Drehle was born in Denver, Colorado, and raised in Aurora, Colorado. He earned his B.A. in 1983 from the University of Denver, where he was also a Boettcher Foundation Scholar and editor of the Denver Clarion, the student newspaper. In 1985 Von Drehle graduated from Oxford University with a Masters in Literature as a Marshall Scholar.
Von Drehle started his career in journalism at 17 years old, working with The Denver Post as a sports writer from 1978 to 1983, where he was the youngest sports writer that the paper has had. From there he moved on to the Miami Herald in 1985 and stayed on with the paper until 1991 as a staff writer and New York Correspondent. In 1988 while writing for the Miami Herald Von Drehle was awarded a Livingston Award, which recognizes excellence in young journalism and is given annually to journalist younger than 35 years of age. Von Drehle was honored for a series titled "The Death Penalty: A Failure of Execution". He was 27 at the time of the award, the youngest of the three journalists recognized that year. The piece also garnered Von Drehle the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award for excellence in Media and the Arts in 1989. During his tenure with the Miami Herald, von Drehle also received an American Society of News Editors Distinguished Writing Award, and has subsequently been featured in ASNE's collections of America's Best Newspaper Writing.
In 1991 Von Drehle became the New York bureau chief for The Washington Post. Within months, he was sent to New Hampshire to cover the 1992 presidential primary, thus beginning his career as a political writer. He went on to be the editor of the Arts section, and the Assistant Managing Editor in charge of the Style section. By his own admission in an article in National Journal Von Drehle says, "I like to change gears every four or five years.". David Von Drehle left The Washington Post in 2006 to become Editor-at-Large for Time. He went gone on to write more than 60 cover stories while at Time. Notable examples include the 2008 Person of the Year (Barack Obama); a cover piece on controversial talking head Glenn Beck titled "Mad Man" that appeared in the September 17, 2009 issue; coverage of the deaths of Michael Jackson and Osama bin Laden; the 2014 Person of the Year (Ebola Fighters); and a magazine-length essay on forgiveness after the murders at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C. That article won the Deadline Award for Best Magazine Feature of 2015.
Von Drehle returned to The Washington Post in 2017 as a twice-weekly opinion columnist. He has also been a recurring contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, including a discussion of Bob Woodward in light of Von Drehle's front-page article confirming the identity of the FBI's Mark Felt as "Deep Throat. He is also the author of several award-winning and bestselling books.
|Booknotes interview with Von Drehle on Triangle: The Fire That Changed America, October 5, 2003, C-SPAN|
|Presentation by Von Drehle on Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year, November 13, 2012, C-SPAN|