Richard Ostling

Biography

Freelance writer Richard N. Ostling formerly spent eight years as a religion writer and "weekly Bible columnist" with The Associated Press and 29 years with Time magazine, where he was the religion writer, producing 22 cover stories, and a senior correspondent, providing field reportage for many major articles. Religious leaders he has interviewed include Billy Graham, the Dalai Lama, the late Mother Teresa, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), and leading rabbis in the United States and Israel.

For 19 years, Ostling broadcast two weekly religion reports for CBS Radio. In 1991 he became the first correspondent regularly covering religion for a network TV newscast, the "MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour" (later "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer") on PBS, working part-time till 1998. He and wife Joan co-authored Mormon America: The Power and the Promise (1999, revised edition 2007, HarperOne), praised by The New York Times Book Review as “eminently fair, well researched, and exhaustive.”

His distinctions include a Pulitzer Prize nomination; the American Academy of Religion, Supple and Templeton prizes; and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Religion Newswriters Association.

Ostling earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan (With High Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa). He also has an M.S. in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, which named him a charter member of its Alumni Hall of Achievement, an M.A. in religion from George Washington University, and an honorary Litt.D. from Gordon College. He is listed in Who's Who in America.