DANIEL L. ACKMAN
Dan Ackman is a native New Yorker who started reading "The Power Broker" at age 11. Last year, he finished it, and he looks forward to finishing another book in the future. He has been a senior columnist for Forbes.com and a correspondent for the Wall Street JournalŐs law page. Dan has written widely for other publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Daily News, The New York Post, Newsday, the American Lawyer, Pink Magazine, Forbes, Inc., The New York Observer, Salon and Slate. He is also a successful civil rights lawyer.
Dan was born in the city's Chelsea section and grew up in Greenwich Village. This last fact impresses many, who are mind-boggled that anyone was actually reared in the Village, or who assume that anyone who was so reared would wind up a pot-smoking, folk-song-singing, all-black-wearing beatnik. Dan is none of the above, though he does wear black on occasion. He finds it slimming.
Dan actually enjoyed a very traditional upbringing, almost Huck Finn-like in its innocence. There was a lot of roller hockey. He had two parents, one of each sex, and both lawyers.
Dan attended high school on the Upper West Side, graduated from Wesleyan University, and from Columbia Law School. A member of the bar of New York and the United States Supreme Court, Dan practiced law, specializing in constitutional, civil, and securities litigation, and wrote in his spare time. He left the law to join a start-up computer business that was more start than up. He then started focusing more on his writing, and became an award-winning screenwriter. Later, he enrolled at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he wrote his masters topic on the lawless New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission and won prizes for his writing about business.
Dan was selected one of five finalists for the Online Journalism Award for Commentary and has appeared frequently as a commentator on television and radio. He has written on a wide range of subjects including the Bush-Gore war, law and litigation, Enron, the wide world of sports, books, movies, energy policy, and the business of pornography. He is a regular commentator for radio and television having appeared on CNN, PBS, CNBC, CBS, the BBC, Fox News, CSPAN, NPR, and ESPN Radio.
Dan has continued to write frequently on the taxi industry and the atrocious New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. During journalism school, he successfully sued the TLC for access to its courts. Since that time, he has acted as lead counsel in a class action lawsuit against the TLC concerning its so-called Operation Refusal. On March 6, 2006, the case was resolved in principle, with the taxi drivers receiving $7 million in compensation. This was the first time the TLC was ordered to pay a substantial sum to any of the thousands of taxi drivers it has wronged.
At times an avid runner and a sometime cyclist, Dan has completed several marathons. He has biked across most of the U.S. and once cycled solo from Amsterdam to Istanbul. He now lives in Jersey City with his wife Laura Katzive Ackman, an international human rights lawyer, and sons Benjamin and Alexander.