Peter Osnos

American journalist and founder of Public Affairs books lived in Apt. 806, Hall 3 of the Belnord, from 1948 to 1962.

Politics and Prose

“In more than five decades as a reporter, editor and publisher, Peter L. W. Osnos has had an especially good view of momentous events and relationships with some of the most influential personalities of our time. As a young journalist for I.F. Stone’s Weekly, one of the leading publications of the turbulent 1960s and in 18 years at The Washington Post, he covered the war in Vietnam and Cambodia, the Soviet Union at the height of Kremlin power, Washington D.C. as National Editor, Swinging London in the 60s and Thatcher’s Britain in the 1980s. At Random House and the company he founded, PublicAffairs, he was responsible for books by four presidents -Carter, Clinton, Obama and Trump; celebrated Washington figures including Robert McNamara, House Speaker Tip O’Neill and Vernon Jordan, first ladies Rosalynn Carter and Nancy Reagan, the billionaire George Soros, basketball superstars Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Magic Johnson, legendary spies, political dissidents and the writers, Molly Ivins and Peggy Noonan, among many others.

Peter Osnos was born in Bombay (now Mumbai) India on October 13, 1943. He arrived in Los Angeles by ship with his parents and brother in February 1944. He was raised in New York and attended high school in Connecticut, college at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, and graduate school at Columbia University. He worked as an assistant to the journalist I.F. Stone and joined the Washington Post in 1966. At the Post, Osnos served as a correspondent in Vietnam, the Soviet Union, and London. He was also the national and foreign editor. In 1984, Osnos joined Random House as a senior editor and later associate publisher as well as publisher of the Times Books imprint. In 1997, he founded PublicAffairs in partnership with the Perseus Books Group and served as publisher and editor at large until 2020. He was the founder of the Caravan Project on the development of digital and audio publishing, author of a weekly media column called Platform which was hosted by the Century Foundation and appeared on and in 2020, launched Platform Books LLC with his wife, Susan Sherer Osnos.”

His book, An Especially Good View: Watching History Happen, has a chapter on living in the Belnord from 1948 to 1962, when his family moved to the Beresford. He is the father of two children, Evan Osnos and Katherine Sanford, and grandfather of five.

“My most famous playmate was Brandon deWilde, one of the best-known child actors of the 1950s. He was a star of the classic Western Shane with Alan Ladd and of The Member of the Wedding on Broadway. He lived on the fourth floor, and we used to run up and down the stairs to each other’s apartments. De Wilde continued acting until he was killed in a car accident in Colorado when he was in his twenties.”

Excerpt From
An Especially Good View: Watching History Happen
Peter L.W. Osnos

Zero Mostel Dies of Heart Failure at 62 (NYT front page)

Zero Mostel Dies of Heart Failure at 62 (NYT front page)

Zero Mostel became a legend on Broadway with his portrayal of Tevye in Fiddler