Wolf Blitzer has arguably been the face of CNN for over 25 years now. The 69-year-old journalist is married to Lynn Greenfield and has a daughter, Ilana Blitzer. He also has a fascinating family story, as his parents were Holocaust survivors.
Here’s what you need to know about Blitzer’s wife and family.
1. Both of Blitzer’s Parents Survived the Holocaust & Were at Auschwitz
Blitzer was born in Augsburg, Germany to Cesia and David Blitzer. When he was a year old, his parents moved to the Buffalo, New York suburb of Kenmore, where he was raised, Blitzer told Buffalo.edu. In his 1999 magazine interview, Blitzer said his maternal grandparents did not survive the war.
Blitzer’s parents were Auschwitz survivors. In 2015, he traveled there for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp for an episode of CNN Special Report.
“My parents were Holocaust survivors. You were eyewitnesses to horrors and [those] who are still with us are very special people,” Blitzer told a crowd of Holocaust survivors in 2015 at The American and International Societies for Yad Vashem 70th Tribute Dinner. “People vowed ‘Never Again!’ but… as we meet tonight we still see so many crimes around the world.”
“The Holocaust was by far the worst crime against humanity ever,” Blitzer said in a 1999 speech when accepting the Yad Vashem Young Leadership Remembrance Award. “Since then, people all over the world have vowed never again. But after WWII there has been no shortage of other crimes against humanity, albeit on a smaller scale.”
Blitzer added, “When we hold ourselves accountable…we cease being bystanders. As the son of
Holocaust survivors, I know that I have a special responsibility—for the sake of my parents, but more so for the sake of theirs and those others who did not survive.”
Blitzer’s personal connection to the Holocaust came to the forefront in April when President Donald Trump’s then-press secretary Sean Spicer claimed that Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons during World War II. Blitzer interviewed Spicer on CNN and Spicer apologized.
2. Blitzer & Lynn Greenfield Have Been Married Since 1973
Blitzer and his wife, Lynn Greenfield, have been married since 1973.
Despite a heavy social media presence, Blitzer does not share photos of his family. In a 1999 interview with Lifestyles, Blitzer explained that he doesn’t think of himself as a celebrity, just a journalist.
“I don’t see myself as a celebrity or anything like that,” Blitzer told the magazine. “I just think of myself as a working reporter.”
3. Lynn Works as a Personal Shopper, Helping Blitzer Pick Out His Neckties
In the 2008 New York Times wedding announcement of their daughter’s marriage, the newspaper noted that Lynn worked as a personal shopper for the Chevy Chase, Maryland Saks Fifth Avenue store at the time.
“I have an excellent personal shopper: my wife Lynn. She is a professional shopper at Saks,” Blitzer told the Huffington Post in 2011 when asked how he decides what neckties to wear.
“I don’t shop much. Lynn Blitzer, a personal shopper, helps me at the beginning of each season. I’m a sale shopper, and I have excellent scouts in New York. I also go to Saks here,” Dozoretz said.
4. Their Daughter Ilana Blitzer Is a Magazine Beauty Editor & Mother to Ruben Daniel Snider
Ilana has been married twice. She was first married to Joseph Gendelman, according to a 2008 wedding announcement in the New York Times. In 2015, she married David Snider.
In August 2016, CNN announced that Blitzer became a grandfather when Ilana gave birth to Ruben Daniel Snider. Blitzer told CNN that he and his wife were “thrilled” to welcome their first grandchild.
5. Blitzer Has an Older Sister, Helena Bltizer
Blitzer also has an older sister, Helena. In 2014, he shared a photo of the two to CNN, showing the toddlers with a babysitter in Germany. After the family moved to the Buffalo area, his father and uncle, Sam Friedman, opened a Kosher deli. Blitzer is named for his grandfather Wolf Zylberfuden, who died during the Holocaust.
“I spent four of the most important years of my life-very formidable years from ages 18 to 22-at the University at Buffalo, from 1966 to 1970. It was a very tumultuous era. The Vietnam War was obviously happening at that time. [UB] was a very politically charged campus,” Blitzer told Buffalo.edu. “I made lifelong friends and got a good education. It gave me an opportunity to go on to graduate school and pursue the kind of career that I’ve been doing ever since, so it was clearly very significant in my life.
Blitzher earned his B.A. in history for the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1970. He also earned a Masters from the John Hopkins University of Advanced International Studies.