About Paul @paulsolman
As you can see below, Paul Solman, business, economics and occasional art correspondent for the PBS NewsHour since 1985, used to have lots of hair. In the '60s, his father found it amusing to say, "you don't need a haircut so much as an estimate." His intramural softball teammates at Brandeis University dubbed him "the Black Medusa."
Having served as editor of the Brandeis newspaper, "The Justice," he got his first paid journalism job in 1970 at the alternative weekly "Boston After Dark." Then and now, he liked to talk on the phone.
Paul became founding editor of the rival alternative weekly The Real Paper in 1972, became its investigative reporter, and became interested in business when he set out to do a story about municipal bond rates (this was 1976) and realized he was clueless. As was, he realized, the entire booming generation in his wake. Here was an opportunity. But how to seize it? How about going to business school?
Having no money for tuition, Paul applied for a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard and lucked out, joining the Harvard Business school MBA class of 1977-8. He embarked on a career as a business reporter at WGBH Boston immediately thereafter, just as the alopecia was making inroads. After a few years of local PBS reporting, he inaugurated the PBS business documentary series, ENTERPRISE with fellow Nieman Fellow Zvi Dor-Ner. (There was also a Nieman felon in their class, but that's for someone else's biography.)
In the 1980s, Paul produced documentaries, returned to local reporting, and joined the Harvard Business School faculty, teaching media, finance and business history in the school's Advanced Management Program. He also co-authored a better-than-average-seller, Life and Death on the Corporate Battlefield (1983), which appeared in Japanese, German and a pirated Taiwanese edition. He joined "MacNeil/Lehrer" in 1985, two years after it become an hour-long news show, and has been the program's Business and Economics Correspondent ever since, with occasional forays into art and sport.
In the '90s, with sociologist Morrie Schwartz, a teacher of his at Brandeis, Paul helped create -- and wrote the introduction to -- the book "Morrie: In His Own Words," which preceded "Tuesdays with Morrie" by a year or more, but failed to outsell it by several orders of magnitude.
Paul has lectured on college campuses since the '80s and has written for numerous publications, including the Journal of Economic Education. He thinks he's the only person, besides John Kenneth Galbraith, to have written for both Forbes and Mother Jones magazines; he was for years East Coast editor of the latter. A one-time cab driver, kindergarten teacher, crafts store co-owner and management consultant, he is also the author and presenter of "Discovering Economics with Paul Solman," a series of videos to accompany introductory economics textbooks that can be found online.
He is, most recently, co-author (with Larry Kotlikoff and Phil Moeller) of the "runaway New York Times bestseller," "Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security," the necessarily revised and updated edition published in May of 2016.
In 2007, he joined the faculty at Yale, where he adds a dose of communications know-how and economics to the university's Grand Strategy course. In 2011, he was the Richman Distinguished Visiting Professor at his alma mater, Brandeis, where he taught a seminar, "Economic Grand Strategies: From Chimps to Champs? Or Chumps?" He has lectured at campuses across the country, has taught regularly at West Point, and at Gateway Community College in New Haven, CT.
Paul took up tennis at 50 and plays with a knee brace. He'd like to shave off his mustache but is afraid to. He wears a hat because his doctor insists. He is married with children. And grandchildren. He will not bore you with their extraordinary virtues and nascent achievements.
Paul’s Recent Stories
Economy Jun 17The case for Britain to stay in the EU
Britain's European Union memebership benefits not only its economy, but its labor standards too.
Economy Jun 16As Brexit vote approaches, why some have no confidence in European Union
"I have no confidence in the basic ability or competence of anybody in the European Parliament," said one Brit in favor of exiting the European Union.
Economy Jun 09Why the secret to gaining power is different today
Is it better to be feared than loved? Or are charisma and community-building the answer? Economics correspondent Paul Solman talks to Dacher Keltner, author of the new book "The Power Paradox."…
Economy Jun 07Why universal basic income isn’t going away any time soon
On June 5, the Swiss voted on a proposal for universal basic income. While the proposal was rejected, supporters claim that this is just the beginning of a transition as inevitable as the eight-hour-day once was.
Economy May 31The best insurance policy on Earth: waiting until 70 to take Social Security
Viewing Social Security as an investment is economically blockheaded. Instead, think of Social Security as an insurance policy.
Economy May 19One former bank executive’s quest to make the workforce more ‘neurodiverse’
Former bank executive Lynne Wines came to Harvard looking to scale and fine-tune a program to get businesses to hire more more "neurodiverse" employees -- that is, people with Asperger's, autism, dyslexia, post-traumatic stress disorder, Tourette's -- people whose brains…
Economy Apr 13The man who designed the bubble quiz also lives in a bubble
Despite his humble upbringing and latter-day immersion in mainstream America, Charles Murray, too, lives in a bubble.
Economy Apr 07What’s the economic impact of refugees in America?
For the United States, the economic impact of refugees is positive on net, but the distributional consequences can be quite complicated, says economist Jeffrey Sachs.
Economy Apr 01Apple turns 40 today. It almost didn’t make it to 20
Twenty years ago, Apple was rotting. Today, on its 40th anniversary, Apple's stock price is $109 a share.
Economy Mar 21Is the NCAA failing its college athletes?
Do college players need a union?…