About Jacob Sullum

Jacob Sullum

Jacob Sullum

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason, a monthly magazine that covers politics and culture from a libertarian perspective. During two decades in journalism he has relentlessly skewered authoritarians of the left and the right, making the case for shrinking the realm of politics and expanding the realm of individual choice.

In addition to Reason, Sullum's work has appeared in National Review, Cigar Aficionado, Seed, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many other publications. He is a frequent guest on TV and radio programs, including The O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, Paula Zahn Now, The Charlie Rose Show, and NPR.

Sullum is the author of Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use (Tarcher/Penguin) and For Your Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health (Free Press).
Saying Yes has been praised in both National Review, which called it “a highly effective debunking,” and Mother Jones, which described it as “a healthy dose of sober talk in a debate dominated by yelping dopes.” For Your Own Good, Amazon’s No. 1 public policy best-seller in 1998, also was widely praised by reviewers, who called it “compelling” (The Wall Street Journal), “meticulously logical” (The New York Times), and a “cogent and thorough ... must-read” (The Washington Post).

Sullum, a fellow of the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, has received the Keystone Press Award for investigative reporting and First Prize in the Felix Morley Memorial Journalism Competition. In 1998, his article on pain treatment for Reason was a National Magazine Award finalist in the Public Interest category. In 2004, he received the Thomas S. Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties, and in 2005, he received the Drug Policy Alliance’s Edward M. Brecher Award for Achievement in the Field of Journalism.

Sullum first joined Reason in 1989, as an assistant editor, later serving as associate editor and managing editor. He also has worked as the articles editor of National Review and as a reporter for the News and Courier/Evening Post in Charleston, S.C., and The Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Sullum is a graduate of Cornell University, where he was an editor and columnist at The Cornell Daily Sun and majored in economics and psychology. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, he currently lives in Texas with his wife, two daughters, three cats, and one dog.

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Will COVID-19 Kill the Constitution? Politicians and the Public Are Alarmingly Willing to Violate Civil Liberties in the Name of Fighting the Epidemic Apr 01, 2020

The great American jurist St. George Tucker, writing at the beginning of the 19th century, called the right to armed self-defense "the true palladium of liberty" and "the first law of nature." But California Gov. Gavin Newsom thinks that right, guara... Read More

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Trump Is Right to Worry About the Cost of Aggressive COVID-19 Control Measures: So Far Politicians Have Been Acting As If Only One Side of the Ledger Matters Mar 25, 2020

President Donald Trump is rightly worried that the "cure" for COVID-19 — sweeping restrictions on travel, local movement, business activity and work — could prove to be "worse" than the disease. That may already be true; politicians have ... Read More

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An Epidemic Big Enough to Accommodate Everyone's Wish List: Politicians of Both Parties Use COVID-19 to Advance Their Preexisting Policy Agendas Mar 18, 2020

The United States would be better prepared for the COVID-19 epidemic, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., suggested during Sunday night's presidential debate, if it had a single-payer health care system similar to his "Medicare for All" proposal. Former Vice... Read More

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The Bloomberg and Steyer Fiascoes Should Give Pause to Speech Restrictionists: No Amount of Money Can Buy Victory for Candidates Who Fail to Persuade Voters Mar 11, 2020

Two and a half weeks after Bernie Sanders slammed Michael Bloomberg for trying to "buy this election," the former New York City mayor dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, having spent $570 million of his own money to wi... Read More