Jennet Conant, Steve Kroft’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Jennet Conant

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Jennet Conant, Steve Kroft’s wife, is a bestselling author and former journalist. She married longtime CBS 60 Minutes Journalist Steve Kroft in 1991.

The couple has one son, John Conant Kroft, who is an actor. They live in Sag Harbor, New York. Conant is 60 years old. Conant and Kroft married in 1991.

“Born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in Asia and America, she received a BA degree in Political Theory from Bryn Mawr College, and double-majored in Philosophy at Haverford College. She attended Columbia University’s School of Journalism and was awarded a John J. McCloy Fellowship,” her website said.

Conant was born in Seol, South Korea and raised between both the United States and countries in Asia. She entered the journalism field and landed a job with Newsweek, where she worked for seven years. She later became a contributing writer for publications including GQ, Esquire and other various publications.

Conant eventually left her journalism career to become an author. She has written five books. Each of them are historical non-fiction books based on World War II. She had personal interest in WWII based on her family background.

Conant is the granddaughter of James Bryant Conant, a notable chemist who was instrumental in the Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project was responsible for the creation of the atomic bomb. She wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed that she was raised hearing her grandfather’s stories, but living in Japan as a child gave her a new perspective.

Her relationship with her grandfather gave her special insight and access into the books she wrote about the war, five of which became bestsellers.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Conant Was Born in Seol, South Korea & Raised in Asia & America

Conant was born in Seol, South Korea and raised between both the United States and countries in Asia, according to her website.

“Born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in Asia and America, she received a BA degree in Political Theory from Bryn Mawr College, and double-majored in Philosophy at Haverford College. She attended Columbia University’s School of Journalism and was awarded a John J. McCloy Fellowship,” her website said.

Her family also lived in Japan, which she said was an eye-opening experience for her. Her grandfather was James Bryant Conant, who was a chemist noted for his work on the Manhattan Project, which led to the creation of the atomic bomb.

She wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times called “My Grandfather and the Bomb.”

She wrote, “The other side of the story — and I came to learn that every story has another side — was not driven home to me until my parents moved to Japan in the summer of 1970, when I was 10. I could not help being acutely aware that I was living in a country my grandfather had once tried to blow to smithereens. By then, I had already gleaned enough during tense family dinners to have more than a few inklings of doubt about what happened to Japan during the vengeful summer of 1945. Children sense anything that is amiss.”


2. Conant Is The Granddaughter of James Bryant Conant, a Noted Chemist & Harvard Professor

Conant is the granddaughter of James Bryant Conant, who was a famous chemist and professor at Harvard University. She wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times in 2005 called “My Grandfather and the Bomb.” Her grandfather was a physicist who was instrumental in the creation of the atomic bomb. She heard stories about his work when she was a child, and became more aware of the dark side of the story when her family moved to Japan in the summer of 1970.

Conant wrote:

Guilt can run in countries the same way it does in families, passed down from generation to generation. It is that way with the bombing of Hiroshima, which almost 60 years later continues to haunt us as a nation, just as it never ceased to trouble the conscience of those individuals who had a hand in the death and destruction visited on that city on Aug. 6, 1945.

It is that much more difficult and painful if the action in question was undertaken by someone close to you, someone much admired and beloved, as was the case with my grandfather, James B. Conant, a proud and austere Yankee and former president of Harvard, made more approachable by age and the twinkle in his eyes. I cannot remember a time when I did not know that he was a celebrated World War II scientist, and that as a top administrator of the Manhattan Project he had helped usher into being the tremendously powerful atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, and three days later on Nagasaki, and brought the conflict to a quick and fiery end.


3. Conant Is a Bestselling Author of Historical Non-Fiction Books

Conant is a bestselling author who has written five books, four of which made it to the New York Times Bestseller list. All five of her books were written about World War II.

One of those books, 109 East Palace, was awarded the Spirit of the West Award for Literary Achievement in non-fiction in 2006, according to her website. The book was about J. Robert Oppenheimer, who headed the Manhattan Project which led to the creation of the atomic bomb. Her grandfather, James Bryant Conant, was also a chemist with the Manhattan Project. Her relationship with her grandfather granted her access to research for the book.

“In 1943, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant, charismatic head of the Manhattan Project, recruited scientists to live as virtual prisoners of the U.S. government at Los Alamos, a barren mesa thirty-five miles outside Santa Fe, New Mexico,” the book’s description said. “Thousands of men, women, and children spent the war years sequestered in this top-secret military facility. They lied to friends and family about where they were going and what they were doing, and then disappeared into the desert. Through the eyes of a young Santa Fe widow who was one of Oppenheimer’s first recruits, we see how, for all his flaws, he developed into an inspiring leader and motivated all those involved in the Los Alamos project to make a supreme effort and achieve the unthinkable.”

She also wrote Man of the Hour: James B. Conant – Warrior Scientist, Tuxedo Park: A Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Palace of Science that Changed the Course of WWII, The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington, and A Covert Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS.


4. Conant Was a Journalist for Newsweek and Wrote Profiles for Multiple Publications

Conant started her writing career as a journalist. She landed a job with Newsweek, where she worked for seven years. She later became a contributing writer, with her work mainly focused on profile writing.

“Conant worked at Newsweek for 7 years where she covered business, technology and cultural affairs. Later she wrote profiles for GQ, Esquire, Vanity Fair and the New York Times. In 2004, her profile of James Watson was featured in The Best American Science & Nature Writing,” her website said.

She eventually left her career as a journalist to write historical nonfiction.

She and Kroft have one son, John Conant Kroft. They live in Sag Harbor, New York.


5. Conant’s Marriage to Kroft Survived an Affair

Conant’s marriage to Kroft survived an affair, which was exposed in 2015. Kroft told People in a statement at the time the affair was “extremely hurtful” to his wife and family.

Kroft met a New York City attorney, 41-year-old lawyer Lisan Goines, at the St. Regis hotel bar in Manhattan. Goines was also married. The two proceeded to have an extra-marital affair. Kroft issued a statement and apology for the affair. He also said it did not impact his work as a journalist.

“I had an extramarital affair that was a serious lapse of personal judgment and extremely hurtful to my wife and family,” he told People in a statement. “And for that I have nothing but regret. My wife and I are committed to each other and are working hard to get past this, and consider it a private matter.”

“This was a personal failure, not a professional one, and had no impact whatsoever on my job as a journalist,” he added.

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