Mort Rosenblum printed his first newspaper at 6— a pathetic biweekly—on a toy press in his bedroom in Tucson, Arizona. He edited his high school paper and, at 19, left the University of Arizona journalism department to work on the Mexico City Times and then the Caracas Daily Journal. He returned to finish his degree and work on the Arizona Daily Star. He joined Associated Press at Newark in 1965.
In 1967, at 23, AP sent him to cover mercenary wars in Congo. Since then, he has written from 200 countries, some no longer with us, on subjects ranging from war to tango dancing by the Seine. He covered the Biafra secession from Nigeria, Vietnam, the violent birth of Bangladesh, Central American mayhem, Israeli wars, the Iron Curtain collapse, Bosnia and Kosovo, and two Gulf Wars, among other major conflicts.
Based in Argentina in the 1970s, he broke the first stories on the “dirty war.” He wrote the first African famine stories in 1984. In 1989, he won the Overseas Press Club award and was short-listed for a Pulitzer for the fall of Romania. He danced on Red Square the night Communism died.
Rosenblum ran AP bureaus in Kinshasa, Lagos, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Singapore, Buenos Aires, and Paris. He was editor of the International Herald Tribune from 1979 to 1981 but returned to AP as a special correspondent, based in Paris. He won AP’s top reporting award in 1990, 2000 and 2001.
Rosenblum left AP in 2004. In 2008, he launched the quarterly, dispatches, with co-editor Gary Knight and publisher Simba Gill. For part of the year, he is a professor of journalism at the University of Arizona, Tucson. In summer, he takes Tufts University students to such places as Kosovo and Kashmir.
He has written 12 books and contributed to Foreign Affairs, Vanity Fair, the New York Review of Books, Le Nouvel Observateur, Travel & Leisure, and Bon Appetit, among others. His honors include a 2001 Harry Chapin Award for a series on water, a Mencken Award for African Famine, a James Beard Award for OLIVES, and an IACP Cookbook Award for CHOCOLATE.
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, where he was the 1980 Edward R. Murrow fellow.
His French and Spanish are fluent; his Italian is passable, and his Portuguese is hysterical. He can say, “Don’t shoot, I’m a journalist,” in a lot of other languages. (Not that it helps.) He is married to Jeannette Hermann, world-class ambiance director and astrology writer. Their cat, Streak, is a neurotic but noble.