About Michael Kaufman

KaufmanMike Kaufman passed away in 2010, after a lengthy career at The New York Times, including a stint as Warsaw correspondent as communism wound down in Poland. In the mid-1990s, Mike went on leave from The Times and came to Prague to run the editorial operation at the Open Media Research Institute (OMRI), a joint venture between Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Soros Foundation.  That arrangement eventually fell apart and Mike became the driving force behind and founding editor of Transitions, an independent publication that eventually became Transitions Online in 1999.

With his wit, breathtaking knowledge of world affairs, and profound humility, Mike inspired many to stay in the business of not only getting the news but trying to make sense of it – despite a tendency among some to oversimplify. As he once wrote, when explaining the choice of a name for our predecessor, “… the plural name may better imply that changes in the wake of the 1989 convulsions require something more than a finite time span, like an election cycle or a five-year plan; transitions are always with us.”

For more about Michael Kaufman:

An obituary by TOL’s executive director, Jeremy Druker

The obituary that appeared in The New York Times.

An article from The Times by Alan S. Cowell, recounting Mike’s time as a correspondent in Africa, for which he won the 1978 George Polk Award for foreign reporting.

An interview with Mike about his book on Poland.