Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Nancy Gibbs is the new managing editor of Time Magazine.

She doesn't look very special, but I skim-read Time, use it as a what's going on the world barometer -- Gibbs replaced Richard Stengel who seemed to have a penchant for focusing the magazine on money-making opportunities and male versus female issues.

Gibbs, since 1988, has written more than 150 articles for the magazine. I've read --not all of them --  but a lot of them.

Her biography doesn't say much about her.  No matter where I search, it is almost identical, and brief.

She was born January 25, 1960, in Westchester NY; (nothing about her childhood); her education --Yale University, B.A. (summa cum laude), 1982; Oxford University, M.A.,1984. She joined Time in 1985 as a part-time fact checker in the international section. She became a writer in 1988. In 1992, at age 32, she married 34-year old Wait May, a fellow editor on the magazine. (I had to dig to learn his name and confirm he's still an editor). Gibbs retained her maiden name. They have two daughters, and live in Westchester, NY.  She is a former elder and deacon of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City.

Interestingly -- Nancy Gibbs' awards and recognition are detailed.

National Magazine Award in 2002. The Chicago Tribune named her one of the 10 best magazine writers in the country in 2003; her articles are included in the Princeton Anthology of Writing, Best American Crime Writing 2004, and Best American Political Writing 2005. she's listed in Time Magazine's "85 years of Great Writing." Gibbs has been a frequent guest on radio and television talk shows, including the "Today Show," Good Morning America, Charlie Rose, and a guest essayist on the "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer."

What knocks me out, amazes me about this writer, are the subjects she's tackled:

"A Pilgrim’s Progress,” (Time, April 11, 2005 -- the Pope’s passing.)
“D-Day 60th Anniversary: The Greatest Day,” (May 31, 2004.)
“Seven Astronauts, One Fate,” (Feb. 10, 2003 -- Columbia space shuttle disaster.)
“What a Difference a Year Makes,” (Sept. 9, 2002:-- the 9/11 terrorist attacks.)
“Life Along the Mississippi,” (July 10, 2000.)

She's written “Best Investment” to Fight Poverty" -- what females are doing now, "The Art of Letting Go," about one's children growing up, written about Romney, Carl Rove, Harry Potter, the Columbine School Murders, Billy Graham, depression, SAT exams, kids going to summer camp -- many other  prosaic ordinary things as well as major events of each year since she started working for Time.

It's fascinating -- that she doesn't reveal personal details about herself, but we certainly get a sense of who she really is, as we read her articles.

I love her titles, topics, her easy going style -- am enriched by her unpretentious, down-to- earth observations -- what Gibbs likes or dislikes coincides with my own feelings.

What she does as a writer is telling me to keep talk-writing about what makes sense to me, what I see and feel -- giving me confidence that if it makes sense to me, if it's important to me, it will make sense and be important to a goodly number of others.

A kindred spirit she is. Wow, thank you Nancy Gibbs.

  I am including this Katy Couric interview because it reveals more about the more of the stories Nancy has written.


Carola said...

She started as a fact-checker in the 80s. Back then, women at Time and Newsweek couldn't advance higher than that. What a milestone that now she is Managing Editor.

Unknown said...

Yes please keep writing/talking! What resonates is perfect. I am so glad to have twitter-stumbled upon you. :-)