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Thomas Friedman Kicks Off 2010-11 Pittsburgh Speakers Series 

Pittsburgh -- The Pittsburgh Speakers Series will kick off its ninth season on Wednesday, Oct. 13, with an appearance by Thomas L. Friedman, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times. Friedman will speak at 8 p.m. at Heinz Hall in the downtown Pittsburgh Cultural District.

As the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes and the author of five bestselling books, Friedman is an internationally renowned author, reporter, and columnist. In 1978, he worked as a general assignment reporter for the London Bureau of United Press International (UPI) before being dispatched to Beirut in 1979 as a correspondent. He and his wife, Ann, lived there until May 1981, when he joined the staff of The New York Times as a general assignment financial reporter, specializing in OPEC and oil-related news.

In April 1982, Friedman was appointed Beirut bureau chief, where he covered the events that followed the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and was awarded the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting. Friedman served in Jerusalem as the Times's Jerusalem bureau chief from June 1984 until February 1988. In 1989, he was awarded another Pulitzer Prize for international reporting, and his book, “From Beirut to Jerusalem,” won the National Book Award for nonfiction and the Overseas Press Club Award for the best book on foreign policy. That January Friedman started a new assignment as the Times's chief diplomatic correspondent. In November 1992, he was appointed chief White House correspondent, before becoming international economics correspondent in January 1994.

In 2001, Friedman was awarded a third Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary for his columns about war, terrorism, and the clash of democratic Western and fundamentalist Muslim societies. In 2002, FSG published a collection of the columns, along with a diary he kept after 9/11, as “Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11.” 

For his fourth book, “The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century,” Friedman received the inaugural Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award. President Obama read his most recent book, “Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution—and How It Can Renew America,” while on his 2009 summer vacation.

Friedman’s talk is open to subscribers of the Pittsburgh Speakers Series. A limited number of tickets to individual lectures are available to RMU alumni. Tickets are sold in pairs only. Call 412-397-2586 and identify yourself as an RMU alum.