John R. MacArthur

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John R. MacArthur
MacArthur john.jpg
Born (1956-06-04) June 4, 1956 (age 63)
NationalityAmerican, French
Alma materNorth Shore Country Day School (1974) Columbia University (B.A., History, 1978)
OccupationJournalist and author
Parent(s)J. Roderick MacArthur
Christiane L'Étendart
RelativesJohn D. MacArthur (grandfather)

John R. "Rick" MacArthur (born June 4, 1956) is an American journalist and author of books about US politics. He is the president of Harper's Magazine.


MacArthur is the son of J. Roderick MacArthur and French-born Christiane L’Étendart.[1] and the grandson of billionaire John D. MacArthur. He grew up in Winnetka, Illinois, graduating from North Shore Country Day School in 1974. He graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in history in 1978. In 2017 he was named a chevalier in the French order of arts and letters. He lives with his wife and two daughters in New York City.


MacArthur writes a monthly column, in French, for Le Devoir on a wide range of topics from politics to culture and is a regular contributor to the Spectator (U.K.), the Toronto Star, Le Monde Diplomatique and Le Monde.

Though John D. MacArthur disinherited his son J. Roderick MacArthur, the latter served on the board of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation until his death in 1984. In 1980, John R. MacArthur persuaded the foundation to partner in creating and funding a Harper's Magazine Foundation to acquire and operate the magazine of the same name. This new entity acquired Harper's Magazine (which was then losing nearly $2 million per year and was on the verge of ceasing publication) for $250,000. He became president and publisher of Harper's Magazine [2] in 1983.

In 1993 he received the Baltimore Sun's H.L. Mencken Writing Award for best editorial/op-ed column for his New York Times exposé of "Nayirah", the Kuwaiti diplomat's daughter who helped fake the Iraqi baby-incubator atrocity.

MacArthur has been a reporter for The Wall Street Journal (1977), the Washington Star (1978), The Bergen Record (1978–1979), Chicago Sun-Times (1979–1982), and an assistant foreign editor at United Press International (1982).

MacArthur serves on the board of The Author's Guild and the Death Penalty Information Center.[3] He received the Philolexian Award for Distinguished Literary Achievement in 2009.



  1. ^ "Rick MacArthur, l'influent ami du livre français". French Morning (in French). 4 June 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  2. ^ Second Front, Second edition, 2004.
  3. ^ "Death Penalty Information Center". Archived from the original on 2009-10-20.

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