About Bob Braun



Bob Braun wrote for The Bob Braun photoStar-Ledger for nearly 50 years. He served as its education editor for nearly 30 years and then became its senior news columnist. He has covered national political campaigns and conventions,  the troubles in Northern Ireland,  the trial of the Lockerbie terrorists, the shootings in Columbine, Nickel Mines, PA, and Newtown, CT;  9/11,  AIDS in East Africa, the Abu Ghraib trials, Congressional passage of the health care act, and the earthquake in Haiti.  He was part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for coverage of Gov. James E. McGreevey’s resignation. He also won the 2010 Associated Press Managing Editor’s award for foreign correspondence for his coverage of the Haiti earthquake. Braun is the author of Teachers and Power, published by Simon and Schuster. He is a graduate of Rutgers University and Seton Hall Law School and is an attorney and works as an independent journalist and communications consultant. He lives in Elizabeth with his wife Lynda, a retired school teacher and learning disabilities consultant. They have two children, Jenifer, an editor at The Star-Ledger and mother of their three grandchildren,  and David, an archaeologist who works at George Washington University, the University of Cape Town, South Africa, the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, and the National Museums of Kenya.

  1. Good to find your blog, Mr. Braun. I have always enjoyed your articles in the Newark Star-Ledger. I look forward to your insight on this “new-fangled” instrument of communication called by that very unwieldy term (IMHO), a “Blog”.

    1. I hate the word blog. It reminds me of the word phlegm.

  2. Was my Comment from about an hour ago ever Posted???

    If not, here is a copy:

    To Bob Braun –
    Dear Bob, (although I believe I recall your byline was more often ‘Robert J.’)
    I’ve been out of NJ (in Southern California) since 1985, but will never forget you as the
    most professional journalist that I personally knew and worked with during my few years in local government (Woodbridge in the late 1960s). As much as I could, I quietly followed your well deserved recognition and progress at the Ledger, but my own life changes, especially after 1985, meant that I only had rare glimpses of your outstanding journalistic and other writing efforts during my occasional visits back to NJ for family events. I always proudly told friends and family that I knew you when you had Woodbridge as one of your “beats,” and I, as Deputy Mayor, enjoyably interacted with you and a few others of the press — even though those “press conferences” concerned mostly mundane topics for you and your fellow reporters.
    Bob, I would LOVE to talk with you, not only generally about “the old days” but particularly our Rutgers and Seton Hall Law alumni similarities. (For me: Newark Rutgers, 1956, and after the Air Force, Seton Hall Law, 1966.) Also, about one of the greatest world journalists before you: George Seldes — copies of ALL of whose books are owned by my son, Mitchell, who is the author of an alternative history about RFK.
    When you get a chance, I would be thrilled if you would please call me, at (949) 855-8357. If we are not home, please leave the best number at which to return your call.
    Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!! Bud (or Buddy) Freedman

  3. I was shocked to learn you are no longer at the Star-Ledger. Always enjoyed your articles. Will post on your we page.

    1. I was kind of shocked I was no longer at The Star-Ledger as well.

  4. Great articles

    Bob Braun: How kind. Thank you.

  5. I was impressed how you took my raw research (use of credit cards to pay for NJ college tuition and fees) and transformed it into an engaging article back in the ’70s. Your Sunday education pieces were a necessary read. Now a retired school counselor from Edison Twp. and a volunteer housing counselor at NHS of Camden, Inc., imbedded in the City’s LMI community, I appreciate your ongoing insights as we battle to sustain the middle class.

  6. Bob – I am curious if previous Administrations fully funded the SFRA or is this a long festering issue, like the underfunding of teachers’ pensions, stretching over several administrations?

    Bob Braun: It’s a long festering issue, yes, but the Christie Administration is the first to scrap the law completely and unilaterally, without regard to its provisions. In the past, other governors have simply underfunded the formula. So this is not a matter of degree but rather a qualitative difference in attitude toward law. I will send you an ELC statement that says it better than I.

  7. Mr. Braun: Always enjoyed your articles in the Ledger. Glad you did not retire and that you are still posting relevant, thought provoking and insightful content. I am not from Newark so I had an outsiders point of view on the whole Newark race. In fact, from the information that I heard and read, I favored Jeffries over Baraka. That was until I read your article on why you endorse Baraka. I also read additional articles on Newark and the infiltration of private equity money into not only the mayor’s race, but the Newark public school takeover. I was appalled to read what was happening to this City. I was even more appalled at how misinformed I was about both the candidates and the situation with Newark Public Schools. Thank you for again delivering an honest, concise and intelligent rendering of what life has really been like for Newarkers over the past few decades. I hope the better man does prevail on Tuesday. I look forward to reading more from you and again, thank you for not hanging up your keyboard.

  8. Any thoughts about the state public worker pension mess and Christie’s handling of it?

  9. Wonderful and well-informed writing about important issues in education. Thank you and may your tribe increase.

  10. Is there any way that you could find and send to me a copy of a column that you wrote for the paper about 15 or more years ago on a trip to Auschwitz and a relative of your’s that you wrote died there? Thank you

    Bob Braun: I believe wrote the column in 2001, just days before the 9/11 attacks. I’m not sure the paper was fully digital then so I don’t know whether I can find a copy I can send via email. I will try. I do know I have a picture of me I could send you. Probably upstairs in my attic is the paper copy. I will look. Thanks for asking.

    1. Thank you so much

  11. Bob,
    Your coverage of the Bridgegate Trial is far more thorough, insightful and comprehensive than that of any of the newspapers or the electronic media.
    It’s a real luxuriating experience to read your articles and commentary and now that I’ve discovered your blog, it will become a staple of my daily reading.
    Ken Javerbaum

  12. I wonder if you remember the great help you gave me in starting the Honors College at Rutgers in Newark. That was a long time ago, but I have always valued your support at that time. Glad to know you’re still active and thriving!

    1. Liz–I do indeed remember you and your efforts at Rutgers-Newark. While you exaggerate my role, I appreciate your kind comments. I hope you are well. And happy you somehow found Bob Braun’s Ledger. Warmest–Bob

  13. We may have a situation at Newark Public Schools that needs investigating.

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