Jurek Martin spent 30 happy years reporting and editing all things foreign for the Financial Times of London and has been in a comparable state of bliss for the last five doing pretty much the same thing in a freelance capacity, based in Washington, D.C.
He has a modern history degree from Oxford (England, not Mississippi) and first went overseas, to exotic California, when only 21, improving his life experiences, but not wallet, as a schoolteacher, bartender and ski bum for three years, before joining the FT in London. His career, for want of a better word, took him, in order, to Washington, D.C., New York, back to London, then back to Washington again, then off to Tokyo, back to London for five years as the paperís foreign editor and finally back to Washington for another five years.
His most notable achievements during these years were to discover a lost Raphael and being the first Western male to dance in public with the woman who is now the Empress of Japan. For reasons which totally elude him, he won two British press awards, the Pulitzer equivalents, for his coverage of Japan and was, in 1997, named to the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the Queen, for services to international journalism, especially in the U.S., which, at least, was an excuse for a good lunch at the Ritz.
In notional retirement, he has had more time to focus on the truly important things in lifeógolf, tennis, eating and drinkingóbut still writes a lot, if less than before, and really enjoys college teaching, as a member of the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program. He is married to Kathleen Newland, now co-director of the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., and herself a past CWA participant.