Fareed Zakaria

Fareed Rafiq Zakaria is an Indian-American journalist and author who has a had long career with CNN.


He was born on January 20, 1964 in Mumbai, India. His father Rafiq, was an Islamic scholar and a politician associated with the Indian National Congress. His father joined the Indian movement for freedom. His mother Fatima, a journalist worked as an editor of the Sunday edition of the Times of India. For his education, he went to the Cathedral and John Connon School of Mumbai. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from Yale University. Yale is a very prestigious university that only accepts the top students. At Yale, he was the president of Yale’s Political Union. He was also the chief editor of the Yale Political Monthly. He was beginning to develop a passion for politics during his college days. The college atmosphere was the perfect breeding ground for his future career.

He joined the Scroll and Key Society where he became an associate for the Party of the Right. He attended Harvard later in his life where he got his PhD in Government in 1993. His parents were very proud of him because of his strong dedication to his studies and career.

In an interview the Politic, Fareed explained the impact of colleges and other institutions had on the American culture, “So I think it’s given me, certainly, a really deep profound appreciation for the fact that in the United States, you have this much broader and richer tapestry of these institutions and groups of people, civic organizations and just human beings who have a sense of that broader commitment. Without it, what you realize is that you can have everything written down perfectly, and it doesn’t matter. It’s something I guess we should have known. The Weimar Constitution, for example, is the most beautifully, intelligently written constitution. And it was regarded as such, was lauded as such, by people at the time. But it crumbled because Germany did not have the internal strength of that civic culture and could collapse because of a man who was able to unravel it all.”

Journalism Career

Zakaria has worked in various capacities throughout his journalism career. After displaying a study project based on America’s foreign policy at Harvard, he became the running editor of Foreign Affairs in 1992. At Columbia University, he worked as an adjunct professor, teaching courses on foreign customs. In October of the year 2000, he was made the editor of Newsweek International. He also served as a news analyst for ABC’s This Week from 2002 to 2007. Fareed wrote several books on international relations. His CNN show Fareed Zakaria GPS is one of the most popular talk show discussing international issues and it has hundreds of millions of viewers.

Despite his popularity in television, he has not been seen in movies yet. He someday hopes that a movie will need his political commentating for a scene. He is also a famous and influential writer. He writes on different topics in daily journals, brochures, and magazines. He is the main reporter on international trading relations and America’s foreign policy.

Zakaria has found himself many times on the hot seat for plagiarism. He was accused of lifting several passages from a New York magazine essay. He used them in his column of Time magazine. Both CNN and Time magazine suspended him. He apologized and said it was a terrible mistake. Later, he was reinstated, stating that his issue was an isolated incident. Media critics found more examples him lifting passages, some of which appear in the cover stories of Newsweek and Foreign Affairs, and in his book The Post-American World. He was able to continue on his career after the allegations were brushed off.


Fareed was not a fan of Trump’s policies as he explained to The Politic, “With Trump, the fundamental problem is that he doesn’t even believe in the system. He doesn’t believe in the basic framework. Other presidents, I think, would always say that they believed in the system, but there was this one exceptional thing where they had to this way or that way”

Fareed the Author

As an avid reader and a proficient writer, he has authored several books. The titles of some of his outstanding books were The Future of Freedom, Liberal Democracy, The Unusual Origins of Americas World Role, From Wealth to Power, Can America Be Fixed?, The American Encounter, and The Post American World.

One of his famous books, The Future of Freedom defines democracy in the Western world as liberal democracy, which is the combination of participatory politics and Constitutional liberalism. Fareed has been able to reach the public with his books and he feels that they are a strong complement to his journalism because they really allow his readers to understand how he thinks.

Recognition and Personal Life

Zakaria has had many creditable awards. He was honored with the National Magazine Award and Peabody Awards. On several occasions, he was nominated for Emmy Awards. Several renowned universities awarded him with honorary degrees. In January 2010, the Government of India honored Zakaria with the Padma Bhushan Award for his excellent contribution to journalism.

Zakaria married Paula Throckmorton in 1997 and they have three children Omar, Lila and Sofia. He is a naturalized American citizen and lives in New York City with his family. Paula has an MBA from Harvard University. She owns a jewelry-design business. Zakaria and his wife Paula were not in a comfortable married zone. Some sources say that Fareed has an affair with one of his female colleagues which brought tension to the marriage. Fareed and Paula started to live individually, until they found the time to work out their differences. They wanted to make things right so they can avoid having a divorce. Unfortunately, in July of 2018, it was announced that Paula asked for a divorce from Fareed. After 21 long years of marriage, she was done and wanted out of the marriage. Fareed publicly announced Paula’s request for the divorce and confirmed that the two had been living apart for a while.

Last Modified: Apr 8, 2020

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