Tom Gjelten is an award-winning National Public Radio correspondent and author. He is also ABC News Chief Global Affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz‘s third husband. Raddatz will be co-moderating the October 9 presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
Gjelten and Raddatz have been married since 1997. Raddatz was previously married to Ben Bradlee Jr. and Julius Genachowski and has two children, one from each of her previous marriages.
Here is a look at Gjelten’s life and career.
1. Gjelten Was a Member of the NPR Team That Won a Peabody Award for Their Reporting on the Iraq War
Gjelten was a member of the NPR team of journalists who won a Peabody Award in 2004 for their Iraq War coverage. The other reporters cited for the award were Anne Garrels, Ivan Watson, Deborah Amos, Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, Emily Harris, Peter Kenyon, Phillip Reeves, Eric Westervelt and Mike Shuster.
A decade after the war began, Gjelten reported on what was accomplished – or not accomplished – after the U.S. invaded Iraq.
Gjelten was NPT’s chief Pentagon reporter during the beginning of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. According to his NPR bio, he was also at the Pentagon when it was attacked on September 11, 2001.
2. Gjelten Has Been Working at NPR for Over 30 Years
Gjelten has been with NPR since January 1983, according to his LinkedIn profile. In 1986, he became a foreign correspondent and was first posted in Latin America. Next, he worked in Eastern Europe. He covered wars in Central America and Yugoslavia and covered the transition from communism to democracy in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
In 1992, he won an Overseas Press Club award for his “From Marx to Markets” series, about the transition to market economics in Eastern Europe. He also earned awards for his coverage in Yugoslavia and on the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Gjelten graduated from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities with a B.A. in Anthropology. He also has a degree from the University of Chicago.
3. Gjelten Is Currently NPR’s Religion Correspondent
In early September, he marked the 15th anniversary of 9/11 with a report on how the attacks were a turning point for American Muslims.
In August, Gjelten filed a report on Trump’s faith.
4. Gjelten Has Written 4 Books, Including a Biography on Cuba’s Bacardi Family
Gjelten has written four books in his career: Sarajevo Daily: A City and Its Newspaper Under Seige (1995); Professionalism in War Reporting: A Correspondent’s View (1998); Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause (2008); and A Nation of Nations: A Great American Immigration Story (2015). He also contributed to the 1999 book Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know.
Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba was a critical success for Gjelten. The book tells the story of the Bacardis, who created a rum distillery and the world-famous brand. Through the eyes of five generations of Bacardis, Gjelten explores Cuban identity and the family’s impact on 150 years of Cuban history.
“A gripping saga that tells us just as much about human nature and the struggle between power and freedom as it does about Bacardi’s transformation from a fledgling business into the world’s top family-owned distiller,” Alvaro Vargas Llosa wrote in a Wall Street Journal review of the book.
5. Gjelten’s Most Recent Book Explores the Impact of the 1965 Immigration Act
With immigration being a key topic during the 2016 presidential election, Gjelten’s most recent book was a timely exploration on the impact immigrants have had on the U.S. A Nation of Nations: A Great American Immigration Story (2015) looks at the impact of the 1965 Immigration Act, which struck down national origin quotes that were favorable to European immigrants. The book includes stories of immigrants who benefited from the act, focusing on Fairfax County, Virginia.
The 400-page book earned a positive review from Helen Thorpe in the New York Times.
A Nation of Nations is slow-paced, but it builds through the accumulation of detail to a book of impressive heft,” Thorpe wrote. “Gjelten excels as he documents the reality of each family. It is harder to say what this all means, but perhaps that is because we have not yet arrived at the answer. One has the sense, at the end of the book, that this experiment is still very much a work in progress.”
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