About Wendell Jamieson
Wendell Jamieson is a prize-winning, New York-born and raised writer and editor who spent 30 years covering every major story the city had to offer – from riots in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, to the Crash of TWA 800 in 1996 to 9/11 and its aftermath. He has worked for four major New York newspapers, beginning as a copy boy, and is perhaps best known in journalism circles for editing “Portraits of Grief,” the thousands of profiles of victims of 9/11 that appeared in The New York Times.
From 2013 to 2018, Wendell Jamieson was the Metro editor of The Times, where he led major investigations, such as a deep look at the treatment of immigrant women who work in nail salons, and the litany of reasons that New York’s subways are falling apart. The Times’ Metro department won two prestigious Polk Awards, and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist four times, during Jamieson’s tenure. Metro also became more digitally focused during Jamieson’s years at the helm, and was known for its colorful, flavorful writing about New York City’s characters and hidden stories.
Wendell Jamieson is also the author of two books – “Father Knows Less,” which is about answering the crazy questions from his young son and was published in 2007 by H.P. Putnam’s Sons, and “New York By New York,” published in November 2018, by Assouline, which chronicles the various social and cultural movements of 20th Century New York. The New York Times said, “‘New York By New York’ is the perfect gift.” He has appeared on The Today Show, Martha Stewart and CUNY-TV, among other outlets, talking about his work. Since leaving The Times, Jamieson has freelanced in the strategic communications industry, learning new ways of using his well-honed storytelling skills. He is married with two children.
Wendell Jamieson was born in New York Hospital in 1966 and moved with this family to Park Slope, Brooklyn, in 1970. It was a beautiful neighborhood in decay. Over his years as a writer and editor, Jamieson often wrote about Brooklyn, his experiences growing up there during the high-crime 1970s and 1980s, and what it was like to live in such a vibrant but troubled place. He attended Edward R. Murrow High School. He began his journalism career as a copy boy at The New York Post in the summer of 1986 while attending Boston University. His first time job was at The Jersey Journal in Jersey City, where he wrote obituaries.
In the 1990s, Wendell Jamieson worked at New York Newsday and the New York Daily News. At Newsday, he was part of the team awarded a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of a fatal subway crash in Union Square in Manhattan. A police reporter, he covered roughly 600 homicides for Newsday while working out of an office at One Police Plaza in Manhattan. He became an editor at The Daily News in 1997.
He joined The Times in October 2000, as a staff editor. It was a great moment because it was The Times that started Wendell Jamieson’s interest in journalism, arriving every morning at the home in Park Slope where he grew up. His first major assignment came in the dark days after 9/11, when he was asked to run a team devoted to telling the life stories of those who died at The World Trade Center. The project – “Portraits of Grief” – became a massive endeavor, eventually involving more than 140 reporters, and was seen as an avenue through which New York was able to express its collective mourning. It was part of the Pulitzer Prize The Times received for public service in 2002.
Wendell Jamieson rose through the ranks at The Times – assignment editor, City Editor, Metro web editor and Deputy Metro editor were some of his titles. As the deputy, he was one of the top editors in charge of running coverage of Superstorm Sandy and the Sandy Hook massacre, which occurred a few weeks apart in late 2012.
Other stories Wendell Jamieson has written include an interview with Elvis Costello, for whom he is a long-time fan, and a travel story about hiking in Japan, a country for which he’s had a lifelong fascination. He’s also used his family as his writing subject, often for comic effect.
However it was the horror of the Sandy Hook killings that prompted Jamieson to begin thinking about leaving journalism to explore other professions where he could use his storytelling skills.