Jurek Martin has been reinvented in the last 12 months as a columnist for the Financial Times, the newspaper for which he has labored in various capacities for over 30 years. In his new guise, he is deliciously free to write about whatever he wants, so long as it is mostly about America and addressed to Americans. He has thus been able to range from Mozart on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and barbecue summits in Oxford, Mississippi to war, peace and the assault on civil liberties in the U.S.
Martin has a modern history degree from Oxford (England, not Mississippi). At the age of 21 he went overseas to exotic California, improving his life experiences (but not his wallet) as a schoolteacher, bartender and ski bum for three years. He then joined the Financial Times in London. His most notable achievements at the paper were discovering a lost Raphael and being the first Western male to dance in public with the woman who is now the Empress of Japan. Martin won two British Press Awards, the Pulitzer equivalents, for his coverage of Japan, and in 1997 was named to the Order of the British Empire by the Queen for services to international journalism, especially in the U.S.
In notional retirement, Martin has more time to focus on the truly important things in life – golf, tennis, eating and drinking - but 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, also a CWA participant.