DAVID J. GARROW is the author of Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, a 1,460 page pre-presidential biography which HarperCollins published in May 2017 and which Garrow began working on in 2008. It became a New York Times bestseller and the Washington Post named it one of the ten best books of 2017. A HarperCollins paperback edition was published in May 2018. From 2011 until 2017, Garrow was Professor of Law & History and Distinguished Faculty Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, Garrow was Senior Research Fellow at Homerton College, University of Cambridge.
Garrow is also the author of Liberty and Sexuality: The Right to Privacy and the Making of Roe v. Wade (Macmillan, 1994; updated paperback edition, University of California Press, 1998), a comprehensive history of the American reproductive rights struggle. His previous book, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (Morrow, 1986; HarperCollins paperback, 2004), won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in Biography and the seventh annual Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. Garrow is also the author of The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr. (Norton, 1981) and Protest at Selma (Yale University Press, 1978), as well as editor of The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It: The Memoir of Jo Ann Gibson Robinson (University of Tennessee Press, 1987). He is co-editor of The Forgotten Memoir of John Knox: A Year in the Life of a Supreme Court Clerk in FDR’s Washington (University of Chicago Press, 2002) and of The Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader (Viking Penguin, 1987, 1991).
Garrow served as a senior advisor for “Eyes on the Prize,” the award-winning PBS television history of the American Black freedom struggle and as editorial advisor for the Library of America’s two-volume Reporting Civil Rights (2003). More recently, he was featured in both the six-part 2020 Emmy Award-nominated documentary “Who Killed Malcolm X?” and the 2021 Academy Awards Oscar-shortlisted documentary “MLK/FBI,” which was based on his 1981 book and his 2002 and 2019 update articles. He has regularly contributed to the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, and his essays and articles also have appeared in the New York Times, The Critic, The American Prospect, The New Republic, the Wilson Quarterly, the Financial Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Review of Books, Newsweek and The Nation. His academic writings have been published in the Supreme Court Review, the Yale Law Journal, the University of Chicago Law Review, Cornell Law Review, the Virginia Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, and Constitutional Commentary. Garrow has taught at Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the City University of New York, The Cooper Union (where in 1992-1993 he served as Visiting Distinguished Professor of History), the College of William and Mary (where in 1994-1995 he served as Harrison Professor of History), American University (where in 1995-96 he served as Distinguished Historian in Residence), and Emory University (where from 1997 until 2005 he was Presidential Distinguished Professor). Garrow was born in Massachusetts in 1953, graduated magna cum laude from Wesleyan University in 1975, and received his Ph.D. from Duke University in 1981. In 2003 he married Virginia Darleen Opfer, now Vice President and Director of RAND Education and Labor and Distinguished Chair in Education Policy.