Charles Blow

Visual Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times, CNN Contributor & NY Times Best-selling Author, Fire Shut Up in My Bones

In-Person Fee Range
$10,001 to $20,000
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Travels From
New York, United States

Visual Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times,  CNN Contributor & NY Times  Best-selling Author, Fire Shut Up in My Bones

Charles M. Blow is the Visual Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, where his weekly column appears every Saturday. Mr. Blow’s columns tackle hot-button issues such as teen pregnancy, the national debt, the presidential race, gender roles, and the gay rights movement. Blow joined The Times in 1994 as the paper’s graphics editor; during his tenure he led the publication to win awards for work that included its information graphics coverage of 9/11 and the Iraq war.


Mr. Blow is a CNN contributor and also often appears on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. He has appeared on Andrea Mitchell Reports, Hardball with Chris Matthews, CNN’s American Morning, Headline News’ The Joy Behar Show, Fox News’ Fox and Friends, the BBC and Al Jazeera, as well as numerous radio programs.


Charles’ memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones, was released in September 2014. In this captivating book, he mines the rich poetry of the out-of-time Louisiana town where he grew up–a place where slavery’s legacy felt close, reverberating in the elders’ stories and in the near constant wash of violence. An isolated boy, Blow is fiercely attached to his mother, a woman with five sons, brass knuckles in her glove box, a job plucking poultry, a soon to be ex-husband, and a love of newspapers and learning. But the closeness doesn’t protect him from secret abuse at the hands of an older cousin. It’s damage that triggers years of searing self-questioning, and Charles explores how this affected his college life and beyond. It is a bravely personal, one-of-a-kind story of self-invention–an instant classic of African-American storytelling from the South.

Mr. Blow graduated magna cum laude from Grambling State University in Louisiana, where he received a B.A. in Mass Communications. He lives in Brooklyn with his three children.

Today's Social and Political Issues

As a New York Times columnist known for his fearless brand of political and social commentary, Charles Blow has become a familiar face on TV and a frequent target for conservative critics. His column typically features charts, but it's mainly his words, written and spoken, that continue to spark conversation and debate about social and political issues of the day. As a speaker, Blow fearlessly tackles contentious issues, such as racism, childhood obesity, life in large cities, acceptance of gays in society, and the current administration. Blow has recently spoken on topics such as: income inequality, xenophobia, teen pregnancy, education and the relationship between journalism and justice.

Mental Health: Facing Adversity and Finding Peace

Columnist, New York Times bestselling author, and CNN commentator Charles Blow shares with poignant vulnerability his experiences with grief and depression, speaking to a universal need to speak openly about mental health issues. Blow fearlessly tackles today’s most pressing issues with depth, nuance, and tremendous insight, blending personal anecdotes with profound takeaways.

All Charles Blow Books

Fire Shut Up in My Bones
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Charles was amazing to work with throughout the entire process. He was very low maintenance prior to his performance. Yet, during the performance, he wooed the crowd through his visionary speech that detailed some of his past experiences through reading excerpts from his book, “Fire Shut Up in My Bones.” Overall, I was in awe of where he’d been and how much he’d accomplished. He has a very compelling story that everyone needs to hear. Thanks!

- | Dalton State College

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Fire Shut Up in My Bones
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