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Joel Pollak
Politician, writer

Joel Pollak

Joel Pollak
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Politician, writer
Is Writer
From United States of America
Field Literature
Gender male
Birth 25 April 1977, Johannesburg
Age 45 years
The details (from wikipedia)


Joel Barry Pollak (born April 25, 1977) is a South African-born American political commentator and author. He serves as the senior-editor-at-large for Breitbart News. In 2010 he was the Republican nominee for U.S. Congress from Illinois's 9th congressional district, losing decisively to incumbent Democrat Jan Schakowsky with 31% of the vote.

Personal life

Pollak was born to an Orthodox Jewish family in Johannesburg, South Africa but his parents emigrated to the United States shortly after his birth. He became a U.S. citizen in 1987. He grew up in the Chicago suburbs, principally in Skokie. He attended Solomon Schechter Day School and Niles North High School, where he was the class valedictorian in 1995.

Pollak attended Harvard College and graduated magna cum laude in 1999 with a joint degree in Social Studies and Environmental Science & Public Policy (ESPP). He earned a master's degree in Jewish Studies from the University of Cape Town in 2006. He then enrolled at Harvard Law School. He married Julia Inge Pollak (née Bertelsmann) in December 2009. They have a daughter named Maya (b. February 1, 2012).


In 2010 Pollak was the Republican nominee for U.S. Congress from Illinois's 9th congressional district, challenging incumbent Democrat Jan Schakowsky, whom he had voted for while still a Democrat (prior to 2006). He lost, garnering 31.1% of the votes to Schakowsy's 66.3%. Pollak was endorsed by the Chicago Tea Party and refers to himself as a Tea Party Republican.

Breitbart News

After losing the election, Pollak was asked by Andrew Breitbart to become in-house counsel at his Breitbart.com websites, and Pollak moved to California. He later became editor-in-chief of the website.

After Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields alleged she was attacked by Donald Trump presidential campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, leaked internal memos showed that Pollak ordered staffers to stop defending Fields. Pollak also posted a lengthy article to the website questioning Fields's account of the incident. Fields and fellow editor Ben Shapiro resigned over the incident, and questioned the site's support of Trump.


Pollak’s first book, The Kasrils Affair: Jews and Minority Politics in the New South Africa (Double Storey, 2009), is based on his master’s thesis and uses debates involving the Jewish community as a window onto minority politics in general in post-apartheid South Africa. His second book, Don’t Tell Me Words Don’t Matter: How Rhetoric Won the 2008 Presidential Election (HC Press, 2009) is self-published and describes the role played by speeches in Barack Obama’s victory over John McCain. Pollak's third book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths The Left Can't Handle, was released in 2016.

Pollak has written numerous op-eds and articles. While in law school, he wrote for the Harvard Law Record and alleged on his blog that Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat faked his blood donation for the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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