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Barry Sussman Edit Profile

Editor , author , opinion analyst

Barry Sussman, American writer, editor. Recipient Drew Pearson award for National Reporting, 1972, 1st Prize award Washington Newspaper Guild, 1973, Editor of Year award Washington Newspaper Guild, 1973. Member American Association for Public Opinion Research (executive council 1985-1987), American Society Newspaper Editors.


Sussman, Barry was born on July 10, 1934 in New York City. Son of Samuel and Esther (Rosen) Sussman.


Bachelor, Brooklyn College, 1956.


His book, The Great Coverup: Nixon and the Scandal of Watergate, was named by the New York Times as one of the best books of the year in 1974. Now regarded as a Watergate classic, it is in its fourth edition, available in print and ebook versions. Among other awards, Sussman was named editor of the year by the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild for his work on Watergate, and he has lectured widely on the subject.

Sussman is one of a small number of journalists profiled and interviewed in Investigating Power: Moments of Truth, an online tribute to coverage of some of the most important events in recent American history. While initially a close supervisor of the acclaimed journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, in later years Sussman became estranged from them. He is also the author of What Americans Really Think, published by Pantheon in 1988, based on columns he wrote while pollster and public opinion analyst at the Washington Post, and Maverick, A Life in Politics, written with and about the former U.S. Senator and governor of Connecticut, Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., published in 1995 by Little, Brown.

From 2003 to 2012 he was editor of the Watchdog Project of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, and managed a website, niemanwatchdog.org, which was aimed at improving news reporting on public policy issues. Sussman started in journalism in 1960 as a reporter at the Bristol (Va-Tenn) Herald Courier, a daily with a circulation of about 25,000. He left after 16 months but soon returned as managing editor before going to the Washington Post in 1965.

He was a state-suburban editor, then DC editor, with a staff of 40 to 45 reporters and, after Watergate, he founded the Washington Post poll, designing and conducting opinion surveys and reporting on the results. in 1981 he was in charge for the Post in establishing and directing the Washington Post/ABC News poll, again designing surveys and doing most of the reporting on the findings. Sussman left the Post in 1987 to become managing editor for national news at United Press International, in charge of 800 reporters and editors across the U.S. and 40 more in UPI's Washington Bureau. He left UPI after less than one year, however, and set up shop as an independent pollster, continuing to focus on public policy issues.

Clients included trade associations, the AFL-CIO, and other interest groups. In the 1990s he became active as an international news media consultant, with assignments at newspapers in Spain, Portugal and seven Latin American countries.


  • He was city news editor at The Washington Post at the time of the Watergate break-in and was detached to direct the coverage that led to the Post’s being awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1973. In September 2011 Sussman was the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from Brooklyn College, his alma mater.



Member American Association for Public Opinion Research (executive council 1985-1987), American Society Newspaper Editors.


  • Other Interests



Married Peggy Earhart, January 20, 1962. Children: Seena, Shari.

Samuel Sussman

Esther (Rosen) Sussman

Peggy Earhart

Seena Sussman

Shari Sussman