Peggy Noonan Noonan in 2016Born Margaret Ellen Noonan
Margaret Ellen "Peggy" Noonan (born September 7, 1950) is an American author of several books on politics, religion, and culture, and a weekly columnist for The Wall Street Journal. She was a primary speech writer and Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan and has maintained a conservative leaning in her writings since leaving the Reagan administration.
Five of Noonan's books have been New York Times bestsellers. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for her work on America: A Tribute to Heroes. She has also been widely recognized for her regular appearances on ABC's This Week and NBC's Meet The Press.
In her political writings, Noonan frequently cites the political figures she admires, including Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, and Edmund Burke.Contents
Noonan was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of a merchant seaman. She is of Irish descent. Noonan is a graduate of Rutherford High School in Rutherford, New Jersey, and Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Noonan worked as the daily CBS Radio commentary writer for anchorman Dan Rather at CBS News, whom she once called "the best boss I ever had." From 1975 through 1977 she worked the overnight shift as a newswriter at WEEI Radio in Boston, where she was later Editorial and Public Affairs Director.
In 1978 and 1979 she was an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University.Presidential positions Noonan in 1986 Noonan meeting with President Ronald Reagan in 1988
In 1984, Noonan, as a speechwriter for President Reagan, authored his "Boys of Pointe du Hoc" speech on the 40th anniversary of D-Day. She also wrote Reagan's address to the nation after the Challenger explosion, drawing upon the poet John Magee's words about aviators who "slipped the surly bonds of earth... and touched the face of God." The latter is ranked as the eighth best American political speech of the 20th century, according to a list compiled by professors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Texas A&M University. The "Pointe du Hoc" speech ranks as the 58th best speech of the century, according to the website American Rhetoric.
She also worked on a tribute Reagan gave to honor John F. Kennedy at a fundraising event held at the McLean, Virginia, home of Senator Edward M. Kennedy in the spring of 1984.
Later, while working for then Vice President George H. W. Bush, Noonan coined the phrase "a kinder, gentler nation" and also popularized "a thousand points of light," two memorable catchphrases used by Bush. Noonan also wrote the speech in which Bush pledged: "Read my lips: no new taxes" during his 1988 presidential nomination acceptance speech in New Orleans. Bush's subsequent reversal of this pledge is a major reason for his defeat in his 1992 re-election campaign.Later career
Noonan worked as a consultant on the American television drama The West Wing.
In mid-August 2004, Noonan took a brief unpaid leave from the Wall Street Journal to campaign for George W. Bush's reelection.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Noonan wrote about Sarah Palin's vice presidential candidacy in the Wall Street Journal. In one opinion piece, Noonan expressed her view that Palin did not demonstrate "the tools, the equipment, the knowledge or the philosophical grounding one hopes for, and expects, in a holder of high office," concluding that Palin's candidacy marked a "vulgarization in American Politics" that is "no good... for conservatism... the country." Such commentary resulted in a backlash from many conservatives. In the 2012 presidential campaign, in the days prior to the November election, she expressed optimism for a Mitt Romney victory over Barack Obama because she said she saw happy faces and optimism among Republicans.
Noonan is now an author, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and a commentator on several news shows, including CNN, where she has distanced herself from conservative Republicans and President Donald Trump's presidency, representing the moderate Republican opposition's point of view, rather than conservative. She sits on the committees and one of the founding members of wowOwow.com, along with Liz Smith, Lesley Stahl, Mary Wells Lawrence, and Joni Evans.
In 2017, Noonan won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, for "rising to the moment with beautifully rendered columns that connected readers to the shared virtues of Americans during one of the nation's most divisive political campaigns."Personal life
In 1985, Noonan married Richard W. Rahn, who was then chief economist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Their son Will was born in 1987.
Noonan and her husband were divorced after five years of marriage. In 1989 she returned with her son to her native New York. In 2004, according to an interview with Crisis Magazine, she lived in a brownstone in Brooklyn Heights with her son, who attended the nearby Saint Ann's School.
Noonan lives in New York City. She is a practicing Roman Catholic and attends St. Thomas More Church on Manhattan's Upper East Side.Books