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Stanley Karnow Edit Profile

historian , journalist

Stanley Karnow, French Journalist, writer. Recipient citation Overseas Press Club, 1966, Annual award for best newspaper interpretation of foreign affairs, 1968; fellow Institute Politics John F. Kennedy School Government; Neiman fellow Harvard University, 1957-1958, East Asian-Research Center fellow, 1970-1971.


Karnow, Stanley was born on February 4, 1925 in New York City. Son of Harry and Henriette (Koeppel) Karnow.


After serving with the United States Army Air Forces in the China Burma India Theater during World War II, he graduated from Harvard with a bachelor's degree in 1947. In 1947 and 1948 he attended the Sorbonne, and from 1948 to 1949 the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris.


He is best known for his writings on the Vietnam War. He then began his career in journalism as Time correspondent in Paris in 1950. After covering Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (where he was North Africa bureau chief in 1958-59), he went to Asia, where he spent the most influential part of his career.

He covered Asia from 1959 until 1974 for Time, Life, the Saturday Evening Post, the London Observer, the Washington Post, and NBC News. Present in Vietnam in July 1959 when the first Americans were killed, he reported on the Vietnam War in its entirety. This landed him a place on the master list of Nixon political opponents.

It was during this time that he began to write Vietnam: A History (1983). He also worked for The New Republic and King Features Syndicate. Later in life, he tried to write a book on Asians in the United States.

A book on Jewish humor progressed only to an outline. He also contemplated a memoir to be titled Interesting times or Out of Asia.


  • He was chief correspondent for the 13 hour Vietnam: A Television History series, aired on PBS's American Experience. It won six Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, a George Polk Award and an DuPont-Columbia Award. In 1990, Karnow won the Pulitzer Prize for History for his book In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines.

    His other books include Mao and China: From Revolution to Revolution, which was nominated for a National Book Award. And Paris in the Fifties (1997), a memoir history of his own experiences of living in Paris in the 1950s.



Served with United States Army Air Force, 1943-1946. Member Council Foreign Rels., Asia Society, Society American Historians, Signet Society, Century Association, Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists association American Center Club, Shek-O Club (Hong Kong).


Married Claude Sarraute, July 15, 1948 (divorced 1955). Married Annette Kline, April 21, 1959. Children: Curtis Edward, Catherine Anne, Michael Franklin.

Harry Karnow

Henriette (Koeppel) Karnow

Claude Sarraute

Annette Kline

Curtis Edward Karnow

Catherine Anne Karnow

Michael Franklin Karnow