Jurek Martin is a columnist for the Financial Times and has written the “Letter to America” dispatch in the newspaper’s "Weekend" section for the last three years, as well as contributing other articles. In 2004, he re-joined the newspaper’s election coverage team in an analytical capacity. Martin has spent his 30 year career entirely on the Financial Times’ foreign staff, serving as foreign editor in London from 1986 to 1992 and as foreign news editor from 1972 to 1975. He served twice as Washington bureau chief and also ran the offices in Tokyo and in New York. Prior to that, he spent a year as a correspondent in the Washington bureau.
In 1983 Martin was commended in the British Press Awards (BPA), the Pulitzer equivalent, and 12 months later won the BPA’s David Holden Award as foreign correspondent of the year, both for his coverage of Japan. In 1997, he was made a member of the Order of Officer of the British Empire by the Queen for his “contributions to international journalism, particularly in the USA.”
He left the Financial Times in 1997, but has continued writing for it on subjects principally of his own choosing, while also doing some university teaching and lecturing. He lives in Washington, D.C., is married to Kathleen Newland, co-founder and director of the Migration Policy Institute, and has one daughter.
Martin earned a BA in modern history from Oxford University, graduating in 1963, and then moved to northern California for three years, working variously as a schoolteacher, bartender, encyclopedia salesman, and ski bum, while also trying to sell articles to assorted publications.