Malcolm Timothy Gladwell was born on September 3, 1963 to a Jamaican mother and an English father. When he was 6, his family moved from England to Canada. He was a successful runner in high school, and his childhood was largely intellectually stimulating: his father was a mathematician, his mother was a psychotherapist and author, and Gladwell developed an interest in the world of literature at a young age. He earned an undergraduate degree in History from the University of Toronto in 1984.
Gladwell's experience in journalism dates back to the summer of 1982, when he interned at the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C. Gladwell said that his academic record was not strong enough to allow him entrance into graduate school, so he initially sought a career in advertising – which did not suit his talents. Gladwell began his career in professional journalism by writing for The American Spectator in Indiana. He later wrote for the Washington Post and The New Yorker, where he has published articles since 1996 and continues to serve as a contributor.
Gladwell has written 5 best-selling novels, all concerning the intersection of psychology, economics, social conventions, and behavior. Gladwell's writing combines theories of social interaction and human behavior with strong elements of anecdote and human interest. Among his books are The Tipping Point (2000), Blink (2005), Outliers (2008), What the Dog Saw (2009), and David and Goliath (2013).
In recognition of his writings, Gladwell has been granted honorary degrees from the University of Waterloo and the University of Toronto. His other honors include a spot on Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People list and an appointment to the Order of Canada.