Malcolm Gladwell is the author of four New York Times bestsellers: “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference” (2000), “Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking” (2005), “Outliers: The Story of Success” (2008) and, his most recent work, “What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures” (2009). Born in England and raised in Canada, Gladwell came to the U.S. after receiving his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto, Trinity College. From 1987 to 1996, he worked as a reporter, covering business and science for the Washington Post, and was then appointed as the newspaper’s New York City bureau chief. Since 1996, Malcolm has been a staff writer with The New Yorker magazine. In 1999, his profile of Ron Popeil won a National Magazine Award, and, in 2005, Gladwell was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People.”
Malcolm’s family tree includes ancestors of West Indian, English, Jewish, Irish and Scottish heritage. He is the son of a white English father and Jamaican mother. At the time of his parents’ wedding, interracial marriage was still illegal in some American states, but not in rural Ontario, where the family made their home. An elusive European ancestor of Malcolm’s arrived in Jamaica as early as the mid-17th century and started a long line of privileged mixed-race Jamaicans, the Fords. On his paternal side, Gladwell’s great-great grandparents Thomas Adams and Jane Wilson left England and Ireland, respectively, to take part in the Castlemaine gold rush in Victoria, Australia in the 1850s.