Carl Bernstein

Carl Bernstein

Carl Bernstein (pronounced BERN-steen, IPAEng|ˈbɜrnstiːn) (born February 14, 1944) is an American journalist who, as a reporter for "The Washington Post" along with Bob Woodward, broke the story of the Watergate break-in and consequently helped bring about the resignation of United States President Richard Nixon. For his role in breaking the scandal, Bernstein received many awards; his work helped earn the "Post" a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1973.


In his 1989 memoir "Loyalties", Bernstein revealed that his parents had been members of the Communist Party, which shocked some because even J. Edgar Hoover had tried and been unable to prove that Bernstein's parents were members of the party.cite news
url =
| publisher = "The Washington Post"
date = March 19, 1989
accessdate = 2007-08-16
] Bernstein's parents were allegedly persecuted during the 1950s. The FBI attended Bernstein's bar mitzvah, which he had demanded although his parents were secular Jews.

Bernstein graduated from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. He subsequently attended the University of Maryland, College Park. Bernstein, who is Jewish, is a lifetime member of B'nai B'rith and once was President of B'nai B'rith's Northern Region.

Bernstein met Margaret Jay, daughter of a British Prime Minister and wife of politician Peter Jay, while Peter Jay was serving as UK ambassador to the United States; Bernstein had a much-publicised extramarital relationship in 1979 with Margaret.cite news
title = Baroness Jay's political progress
url =
| publisher = "BBC News"
date = July 31, 2001
accessdate = 2007-08-16
] Bernstein and his second wife, screenwriter Nora Ephron, had an infant son, Jacob, and Ephron was pregnant with her second son, Max, in 1980 when she found out the news of Bernstein's affair with Jay. Ephron delivered Max prematurely after finding out.cite news
title = Get real – ageing’s not all Helen Mirren
url =
| publisher = "The Times"
date = March 4, 2007
accessdate = 2007-08-16
] Writer Ephron was inspired by the events to write the 1983 novel "Heartburn", which was made into a 1986 film starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep. In the thinly fictionalized book, Ephron gave unflattering depictions of both Jay and Bernstein, writing of a husband who was “capable of having sex with a venetian blind" and saying that Jay looked like a giraffe with "big feet."

Bernstein then became known for dating Bianca Jagger, Martha Stewart and Elizabeth Taylor; he was also arrested for drunk driving.

He currently resides in New York with his wife Christine.


Bernstein played an integral role in his partnership with Bob Woodward during the Watergate scandal. Bernstein was the first to suspect that Nixon played a part, and Bernstein found the laundered check that linked Nixon to the burglary.

Bernstein quit "The Washington Post" in 1976. He did not see the success that Woodward did post-Watergate; his frequent appearances in gossip columns resulting from the book and movie Ephron released, his arrest, and his dating of Hollywood celebrities did not serve to burnish his journalistic reputation. He was not invited to the 70th birthday gala of "Washington Post" owner Katherine Graham, which was widely seen as a snub since Bernstein had helped to bring the "Post" to international stature.

He then worked as the Washington Bureau Chief and as a senior correspondent for ABC News, taught at New York University, and contributed to "Time". Bernstein authored two books with Woodward: "All the President's Men", which details the successes and failures of their journalistic efforts against the backdrop of the unfolding scandal, and "The Final Days", a recounting of the concluding months of the Nixon presidency, although Woodward questioned Bernstein's contributions to the latter book and reportedly wanted to not list him as a co-author. Woodward said, "It was not the most productive time for Carl." Woodward reportedly turned down offers to again work with Bernstein on an investigative column or any further books.

He co-authored the book "His Holiness: John Paul II & the History of Our Time" with Marco Politi. Following the May 2005 revelation of the identity of Deep Throat, Bernstein contributed to Woodward's book "The Secret Man", which deals with Woodward's relationship with Mark Felt. In April 2006, Bernstein published an [ article] in Vanity Fair magazine, where he is a contributing editor, calling for a Senate investigation into the presidency of George W. Bush.

Bernstein wrote a memoir, a "pained, loving, intensely felt account of his parents' ordeal, and his own emotional upheaval, during President Harry Truman's loyalty purges." [(Publisher's Weekly), entitled "Loyalties: A Son's Memoir," (Simon & Schuster, 1989)] He has also written a biography of Hillary Rodham Clinton, "A Woman In Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton", published by Alfred A. Knopf on June 5, 2007.


* In the film "Heartburn", Jack Nicholson was a thinly-veiled portrayal of Bernstein.
* Bernstein was portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in the film version of "All the President's Men".
* Bernstein was portrayed by Bruce McCulloch in the 1999 comedy film "Dick".

Books authored

* "All the President's Men" - With Bob Woodward (1974) ISBN 0-671-21781-X,
* "The Final Days" - With Bob Woodward (1976) ISBN 0-671-22298-8
* "Loyalties: A Son's Memoir" - (1989)
* "His Holiness: John Paul II & the History of Our Time" - With Marco Politi (1996)
* "The Secret Man" - With Bob Woodward (2005) ISBN 0-7432-8715-0
* "A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton" - (2007) ISBN 0-375-40766-9


External links

* [ 'Deep Throat' brings Watergate pair together again] , a June 2005 "New York Times" story from the "International Herald Tribune" website
* Carl Bernstein. [ The CIA and the Media] , "Rolling Stone Magazine", October 20, 1977.
* Biography of Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward
* Alfred A. Knopf
* Carl Bernstein Home Page
* [ Carl Bernstein takes an in-depth look at the fascinating life and career of Hillary Rodham Clinton] in his book "A Woman in Charge"
* [ Watergate Papers Collection] at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin

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