Alexandra Kennerly Wolfe Schiff, 37, is the daughter of author Tom Wolfe and Sheila Wolfe.
Raised by the peerless author and literary journalist who advanced ‘New Journalism,’ and graphic artist and designer mother, Sheila (who met Tom Wolfe while working as art director at Harper’s magazine) Alexandra Wolfe herself is a well-regarded writer and journalist who was just recently married.
Her father passed away at age 88 Tuesday.
National Review founder, author and commentator William F. Buckley Jr. described Wolfe this way: “Tom Wolfe is probably the most skillful writer in America. I mean that he can do more things with words than anyone else. He is like the pianist, Henry Scott, who can play ‘The Flight of the Bumblebee’ wearing mittens.”
Here’s what you need to know about Tom Wolfe’s daughter Alexandra:
1. Alexandra Wolfe is a Duke University Graduate, Wall Street Journal Reporter & Prolific Freelance Writer, Journalist & Author
According to her Wall Street Journal bio, Alexandra graduated from Duke and then went to work as a reporter for the New York Observer, the Wall Street Journal and Condé Nast Portfolio.
Alexandra’s work as a contributor includes feature articles for Bloomberg Businessweek, Travel + Leisure, Departures, Vanity Fair and Town & Country.
Alexandra writes the Wall Street Journal’s weekly profile column Weekend Confidential.
2. Alexandra Has Interviewed Scores of Notable Figures in the WSJ Weekend Confidential Column & in Vanity Fair
There was the peek into the tech world of Richard Branson with a view.
And an illuminating reveal on Gretchen Rubin:
Wolfe’s profile on NBA pioneer Becky Hammond was applauded.
Wolfe’s 2017 piece on David McCullough was a breakthrough, as well:
“Despite all of the turmoil in U.S. politics lately, David McCullough thinks that the country isn’t in such bad shape. It’s all relative, says the 83-year-old historian …the Civil War, for instance, when the country lost 2% of its population—that would be more than six million people today—or the flu pandemic of 1918, when more than 500,000 Americans died. ‘Imagine that on the nightly news …’” Wolfe wrote that McCullough said history provides people a ‘sense of proportion …’It’s an antidote to a lot of unfortunately human trends like self-importance and self-pity.’”
Her prescient portrait of Emma Stone for Vanity Fair from 2011 with the lede sounding a lot like something one might read in a Tom Wolfe story: “Emma Stone was running down a dark, eerie hallway covered with cobwebs and stuffed buffalo heads while wearing a white Venetian mask…”
A gifted writer, she’s gone beyond journalism to the novel where her famous father flourished.
3. Author Alexandra Wolfe Penned Her Novel ‘Valley of the Gods’ in 2017
Alexandra Wolfe’s book ‘Valley of the Gods,’ explores the subculture of Silicon Valley’s youngest entrepreneurs. One critic called it a “funny anthropological deep dive into the strange inner workings of the Bay Area tech world.
In an interview with Vogue, Wolfe said as she was working on her book she thought, “I’ve finally come up with something new …then my dad was like: ‘I wrote the first story on Silicon Valley.'”
Wolfe was referring to her just-published first book, ‘Valley of the Gods’, a “sharply observed, often quite funny anthropological deep dive into the strange inner workings of the Bay Area tech world.”
A New York Times review had critic Nick Bilton lead with, “As I sat down for lunch at a restaurant in Los Angeles, I placed a copy of ‘Valley of the Gods,’ by Alexandra Wolfe, on the table, and a waitress walking by stopped to peer at the cover. ‘Oh, that looks like an interesting book,’ she said. ‘What’s it about?'”
“’It’s about Silicon Valley,’” I began. “’It follows this young kid, John Burnham, who gets paid $100,000 by this weird billionaire guy, Peter Thiel, whom you’ve probably heard of; he’s a big Trump supporter and spoke at the Republican National Convention?” — a blank stare from the waitress. “Anyway, Thiel pays him (and a bunch of other kids) to forgo college so Burnham can mine asteroids, but he doesn’t actually end up mining the asteroids and. . . .’”
“’Oh, I thought it was a nonfiction book,’ the waitress interrupted with a perplexed and awkward look on her face.”
“’Oh,” I replied. “Believe it or not, it is.’”
4. After Dating for 2 Years, Alexandra Wolfe & Andrew Schiff Married in February 2018
The couple first met in fall 2014, began dating in 2016 and married in February of 2018.
Dr. Andrew ‘Drew’ Schiff, 52, is the former son-in-law of Al Gore and ex-husband of Karenna Gore; the couple had three children, Wyatt Gore Schiff, Anna Hunger Schiff and Oscar Aitcheson Schiff.
Schiff, the great-great grandson of philanthropist Jacob Schiff, is a biotechnology and life sciences fund manager and managing partner of Aisling Capital and was previously a physician at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
5. Alexandra Alone Wore White on Her Wedding Day
Tom Wolfe was born in Virginia. In the South, white suits for men of a certain age, generation and stature were common summer wear. Wolfe told Vanity Fair that he began wearing his signature white suits in 1962 (and often immaculate two-tone spats).
And since white suits were as Wolfe as Wolfe himself, who’d wear white at the wedding, father or daughter or both?
Alexandra alone wore white on her wedding day this winter. Her father, whose white suits were a trademark told his daughter he’d skip the white suit: “No, you can wear white. It’s your day,” the New York Times reported in a wedding announcement.