Norman B. Podhoretz (born January 16, 1930) is an American neoconservative pundit and writer for Commentary magazine.
The son of Julius and Helen (Woliner) Podhoretz, Jewish immigrants from the Central European region of Galicia, Podhoretz was born and raised in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Podhoretz's family was leftist, with his elder sister joining a Socialist youth movement.
Podhoretz received Bachelor's Degrees from both Columbia University — where he studied under Lionel Trilling — and the Jewish Theological Seminary. He later received a BA with first-class honors and an MA from the University of Cambridge. He also served in the United States Army (1953–1955) where he worked for the U.S. Army Security Agency.
Podhoretz served as Commentary magazine's Editor-in-Chief from 1960 (when he replaced Elliot E. Cohen) until his retirement in 1995. Podhoretz remains Commentary's Editor-at-Large. In 1963, he wrote the influential essay “My Negro Problem — And Ours," in which he described the oppression he felt from African-Americans as a child, and concluded by calling for a color-blind society, and advocated "the wholesale merging of the two races [as] the most desirable alternative for everyone concerned."
From 1981 to 1987, Podhoretz was an adviser to the U.S. Information Agency. From 1995 to 2003, he was a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush in 2004. The award recognized Podhoretz's intellectual contributions as editor-in-chief of Commentary magazine and as a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.
Podhoretz is married to author Midge Decter, and is the stepfather of Rachel Abrams (née Decter, Elliott Abrams' wife) and father of syndicated columnist and current Commentary editor-in-chief John Podhoretz.
Norman Podhoretz was one of the original signatories of the "Statement of Principles" of the Project for the New American Century.
Podhoretz received the Guardian of Zion Award from Bar-Ilan University on May 24, 2007.
He served as a senior foreign policy advisor to Rudy Giuliani in his 2008 presidential campaign. The same year, he publicly advocated an American attack on Iran.
Podhoretz's 2009 book Why Are Jews Liberals? questions why American Jews for decades have been dependable Democrats, often supporting the party by margins of better than two-to-one, even in years of Republican landslides.