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Photo: Dale Robbins

Neal Gabler

Historian and Culture Critic

Neal Gabler is a cultural historian, film and television writer, and award-winning author. His books include: An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood; Winchell: Gossip, Power and the Culture of Celebrity; and Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination, a New York Times best-seller. Gabler replaced departing co-hosts Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel on the PBS program Sneak Previews and is currently the Emmy award-winning host of Reel 13 on New York’s public television station WNET.

Gabler’s book, Life the Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality, published in 1998, expands upon his extensive investigations of American pop culture to examine how our collective obsession with entertainment has turned politics, religion, and the daily news into show business.  With real-life icons like O.J. Simpson, Bill Clinton, and Princess Diana gaining Hollywood-like celebrity status, “Life itself” Gabler writes, “is gradually becoming a medium all its own.”

Gabler is currently a visiting professor in the MFA program at SUNY Stony Brook and a senior fellow at the Norman Lear Center for the Study of Society and Entertainment at the University of Southern California.  He was a fall 2011 fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where his work focused on an upcoming biography of Senator Edward Kennedy.  He is also the past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Freedom Forum Fellowship, and a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Gabler taught at his alma mater as well as at the University of Pennsylvania.

Gabler writes regularly for newspapers including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times. His articles and essays have also appeared in magazines including Playboy, The New Republic, and Vanity Fair.