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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Biden's Mask Mandate Retreat Is a Hopeful Sign: The President Acknowledges That There Are Limits to Executive Power, Even During a Public Health Emergency Jan 20, 2021

"If I'm your president," Joe Biden promised at the Democratic National Convention last summer, "on day one we'll have a national mask mandate." Now that Biden is the president, his policy has changed from a general requirement to an executive order t... Read More

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Prosecuting Trump for Incitement Would Set a Dangerous Precedent: Unlike the Cancellation of Josh Hawley's Book, Such Criminal Charges Pose a Real Threat to Freedom of Speech Jan 13, 2021

When Simon & Schuster canceled publication of Josh Hawley's book "The Tyranny of Big Tech," the Missouri senator called the decision "a direct assault on the First Amendment." For reasons the Yale-trained lawyer and former Supreme Court clerk should ... Read More

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The Case Against Julian Assange Is Also a Case Against the Press: Contrary to What the Judge Who Blocked His Extradition Implied, the Espionage Act Does Not Include an Exception for 'Responsible' Journalism Jan 06, 2021

The British judge who blocked Julian Assange's extradition to the United States on Monday was persuaded by psychiatric testimony indicating a "substantial risk" that the WikiLeaks founder would kill himself in response to the harsh conditions he is a... Read More

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Trump Blames Everyone but Himself for His Defeat: Maybe Voters Were Repelled by the Very Traits He Has Been Vividly Displaying Since the Election Dec 30, 2020

Donald Trump's presidency provided a rich trove of examples for my annual review of the year's highlights in blame-shifting. The 2020 edition focuses on the question Trump has been trying to answer for nearly two months: Why did he lose the president... Read More