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 May 10How does where you live affect your life expectancy?
Life expectancy can very by as much as 20 years depending on what county you live in, a new report finds.
Economy Apr 13What other countries can teach America about taxes
Journalist T.R. Reid's latest project was to find the world’s best income tax systems and report them back to the home of tax revolution: the U.S.
Economy Dec 30Will D.C.’s new paid family leave policy unintentionally encourage discrimination?
DC's new paid family leave is one of the most generous in the nation. But economist Harry Holzer worries the policy could have unintended consequences and hurt the women it's trying to help.
Economy Dec 22The economic case for DC’s family leave policy
The District of Columbia's new family policy will be a boon for not only workers, but for business and the District as a whole, says economist Heather Boushey.
Economy Dec 15How did the pollsters get Trump’s win so wrong? They didn’t, says economist Justin Wolfers
Donald Trump was elected president, but the grand majority of polls, pollsters and prediction markets showed that a Clinton presidency was more likely. How did they get it so wrong?…
Economy Nov 11A historian’s take on Trump’s economic plan for blue-collar, manufacturing jobs
What is President-elect Donald Trump's plan for the economy? Economics correspondent Paul Solman sat down with economic historian Adam Tooze to discuss.
Economy Nov 03How Donald Trump equated his name with luxury and sold it to the masses
Why do celebrity brands have an emotional impact on consumers?…
Economy Oct 20Why this conservative economist supports a carbon tax in Washington
Washington state's Initiative 732 proposes imposing a tax on carbon emissions. The initiative has gained support from unlikely places.
Economy Oct 14Why billionaire Tom Barrack believes Trump can fix inequality
Billionaire Tom Barrack explains why he thinks Trump is the man to address economic inequality and "radical Islam."…
Economy Oct 13Why LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman is standing up to Donald Trump
LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman is passionately anti-Trump. Economics correspondent Paul Solman sat down with Hoffman to discuss why he feels so strongly about speaking out against Trump, why he thinks others in Silicon Valley ought to and why he thinks…