A conservative political analyst for the Washington Post and Fox News, Charles Krauthammer is a quadriplegic you’ll never forget. The thing about Charles however is that he doesn’t want you to focus on his quadriplegia, and he’s been amazingly successful in this goal.
Out of the thousands of Charles’ dedicated fans, most don’t even know he uses a wheelchair. It’s not that it’s a secret, it’s just that his opinions and views on American politics are so engaging that they make you forget his disability.
From working as a Harvard-trained psychiatrist to becoming a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist all post-injury, read on for the fascinating story of Charles Krauthammer.
Why he’s fearless
Born in New York City and raised in Canada, Charles was raised by parents who escaped Europe during WWII. Raised an Orthodox Jew, Charles loved everything about the beach and sports as a child, hanging out with his older brother who taught him everything he knows about sports. He also loved to sail, which became one of his first jobs at age 16.
And after high school he moved on to college. He was accepted to both Oxford and Harvard University. Conflicted about where and what to study – medicine at Harvard or politics at Oxford – he chose of Oxford. While going to Oxford was great because he met his future wife Robyn here, a student from Australia, he ended up changing his mind and transferred to Harvard to study medicine.
During his first year of school, while skipping class to play tennis and taking a dive in a pool afterwards cool off, he broke his neck, and he became a C5-6 quadriplegic. Charles however was determined to not let his injury alter the course of his life, and he went back to medical school as soon as he could, graduating with the class of 1975.
He practiced psychiatry, a field he says worked quite well for his injury, and worked at U Mass General for a couple years, but he eventually changed his mind, and decided to become a political writer. In the beginning of his political career, he was a democrat and worked as a speechwriter for Vice President Walter Mondale. Things changed however for him in the ’80s.
In 1988, after being offered a regular column for the Washington Post, writing his now beloved political commentary, he won a Pulitzer Prize, and this is what skyrocketed his career.
After winning, he joined the weekly political TV show, Inside Washington for PBS, which ran for 20 years. He also became a contributing editor for The Standard when he first started out. Charles soon moved to writing books, and has seven books to his credit. All are on his political leanings, and his most recent book “Things That Matter,” is part autobiography and part collection of political essays written by him over his 30+ year career. It was the number one in the New York Times bestseller list for six weeks.
Charles however is best known for his political commentary on TV. He is a nightly panelist on Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier, and can be frequently seen on the channel sharing his opinions on the latest politics of the day. And very rarely will you see his wheelchair, as it is always out of the shot.
It his personal time, Charles, now 65 and a longtime resident of Washington DC, loves baseball and chess. He had to quit the former though, as he was becoming too addicted. He and his wife of over 40 years also have a son Daniel, who is a writer and lives in Los Angeles.
It’s not very often you run across such a well respected voice from a person from a spinal cord injury, a voice that’s on national television and has won prestigious awards like Charles Krauthammer. He is truly inspirational and proves you can make your way in this world, disability be damned.
Are you a fan of Charles’ work? What you think of his political opinions?
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