Ellis Cose

Ellis Cose is the author of a dozen books on issues of national and international concern, including the best-selling The Rage of a Privileged Class; The Short Life and Curious Death of Free Speech in America (Amistad, HarperCollins, September 2020); and DEMOCRACY, IF WE CAN KEEP IT: The ACLU’s 100-Year Fight for Rights in America (The New Press, July 2020), the definitive history of the American Civil Liberties Union. Cose is currently a columnist and member of the board of contributors for USA Today and a contributing columnist for Yahoo News.

A Chicago native, Cose holds a master’s degree in science, technology, and public policy from George Washington University. For 17 years, Cose was a columnist and contributing editor for Newsweek magazine. He is a former chairman of the editorial board and editorial page editor of the New York Daily News. Cose was the inaugural writer in residence for the ACLU. He also served as moderator of a series of dialogues between the NYPD brass and various communities in New York. As a senior adviser to the Pinkerton Foundation, he produced a short book that looked at fifty years of Pinkerton Foundation grant making in the context of changing trends in youth development and delinquency.

He has been a contributor and press critic for Time magazine, chief executive officer of the Institute for Journalism Education, chief writer on management and workplace issues for USA Today and a member of the editorial board of the Detroit Free Press. He has been a fellow at the University of California Center for Free Speech and Public Engagement, the Gannett Center for Media Studies at Columbia University, the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, and the Washington-based Joint Center for Political Studies and Economic Studies. He has also worked as a consultant to several foundations, including the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations. He began his career with the Chicago Sun-Times, where he was a columnist, editor, and national correspondent. At 19 when he joined the Sun-Times, Cose was the youngest op-ed columnist ever employed by a major Chicago daily.

Cose is also an independent radio producer and a popular lecturer and public speaker. He created, produced and hosted Against the Odds, a pilot radio series set in Kenya and the United states, which aired in 2008 in more than 100 radio markets, including eight stations in the top 11 markets of the United States. He followed that up with a four-part series in 2009 (featuring stories from Rwanda, Kenya, India and the United States), which also aired in top radio markets across the United States. He has appeared on a range of national and international news programs, including Dateline, ABC News, and Good Morning America. Cose lives in New York City with his wife and daughter.

Contact Cose at commlead@usc.edu.