Peggy Noonan, prolific journalist, served as President Reagan's speechwriter from 1984 to 1986 and wrote his address to the nation after the Challenger explosion. In 1988, she was chief speechwriter for George H.W. Bush's presidential bid, during which she coined the phrases "a kinder, gentler nation," "a thousand points of light," and "read my lips: no new taxes."
Journalist and author Margaret Ellen Noonan was born on September 7, 1950, in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Noonan got her start in journalism as a newswriter for the graveyard shift at WEEI-AM Radio in Boston. She was promoted to editorial and public affairs director and won the Tom Phillips Award for broadcast commentary. She then worked for Dan Rather at CBS News in New York, writing and producing daily commentary for CBS Radio.
From 1984 to 1986, Noonan served as a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, where she became one of the most renowned political speechwriters of her generation. In 1988, she was chief speechwriter for George H.W. Bush's presidential bid, during which she coined the phrases "a kinder, gentler nation," "a thousand points of light" and "read my lips: no new taxes."
Award-Winning Writing Career
Noonan currently works as a weekly columnist for The Wall Street Journal, as well as being a political commentator and author. Though politically conservative, she often condemns the Republican Party leadership and was particularly critical of George W. Bush's second term in office. She is the bestselling author of seven books on American politics, including When Character Was King: A Story of Ronald Reagan, The Case Against Hillary Clinton and Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Noonan is also a frequent contributor to Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post and The New York Times. She was a consultant for the hit political television drama The West Wing, for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award.
Noonan was married to Richard W. Rahn, former chief economist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, from 1985 to 1989. She and their son, Will, live in New York City.
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