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263 articles
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Lena Dunham is Not Done Confessing

On the writer’s new book and tell-all style.

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The Eternal Paternal

On Bill Cosby’s complicated family life.

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Candy

A profile of Candy Barr—porn star pioneer, burlesque legend, Texas folk hero.

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The Last American Man

At age 17, Eustace Conway moved into the North Carolina woods. He hasn’t compromised since.

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Covering the Cops

A profile of Edna Buchanan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning crime reporter for the Miami Herald during its heyday.

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Changing Times

A profile of Jill Abramson from her first weeks as executive editor of The New York Times.

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Uncontested: The Life of Donald Sterling

A profile of the Los Angeles Clippers owner, an oft-sued real estate baron with a documented racist streak and a penchant for heckling his own players, on the occasion of him winning an NAACP lifetime achievement award.

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Deep Inside Baz Luhrmann’s Creative Chaos

In between projects, the director searches for “that next soul-nourishing gig.”

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Peter O'Toole on the Ould Sod

After two years of filming Lawrence of Arabia, Peter O'Toole returns to his childhood home in Ireland.

Plus: 50 years later, Gay Talese remembers the late Peter O'Toole.

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Confessions of Pop's Wildest Child

A few days in the life of Miley Cyrus.

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I Am Large, I Contain Multitudes

A profile of Roseanne Barr and her multiple personalities.

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The Man Behind The Historic Implosion Of The Ex-Gay Movement

Meet Alan Chambers, former leader of Exodus International–a “pray the gay away” ministry.

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Mr. Hannah Montana’s Achy Broken Heart

A melancholic Billy Ray Cyrus on the trauma of being the father of a famous 18-year-old girl, his friendship with Kurt Cobain, and his favorite mullet nicknames (Kentucky Waterfall and Missouri Compromise).

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'You're Done Banging Superheroes, Baby'

Meet Mark Millar, the brains behind our era’s most violent, ingenious comics.

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Blow Hard

Scott Storch, a producer who earned six figures for beats he made in less than an hour, was worth an estimated $70 million. Then he blew it all in a bizarre cocaine binge.

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Megan Phelps-Roper of Westboro Baptist Church: An heir to hate

The next generation of America’s most controversial (and likely most despised) church.

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Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder Brings Woman Agony, Not Ecstasy

Gretchen Molannen was perpetually aroused. She couldn’t work or sleep.

On December 1, the day after this story was published, she killed herself.

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This Is Amazing!

A profile of Huell Howser, the happiest man on TV.

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Still Richard

Richard Simmons at 64, sweatin’ to the oldies (and country and disco) thrice weekly.

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Murdering the Impossible

A profile of Reinhold Messner, the greatest mountain climber of all time.

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The Un-Communicator

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, profiled.

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Thomas Quick: the Swedish serial killer who never was

He confessed to more than 30 murders. But Thomas Quick (also known as Sture Bergwall) may not have committed any of them.

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He Came from Outer Space

Barry Zito, profiled.

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The Broke Broker: He’s Got Keys to the Best Apartments, But Lacks One of His Own

Bruce Cawsey Waite has no home, no office, and wears a dead man’s suit.

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The Smartest Man in America

Profiles of people with genius-level IQs.

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Joel Klein's Misleading Autobiography

The former chancellor of New York City schools was not, in fact, “a child of the streets. He was not an academically unmotivated student. He did not come from a deprived family background. He did not grow up in public housing as we understand it today.”

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The Supermarket of Struggling Artists

On the staff of a Trader Joe’s in New York City.

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The Cranky Wisdom of Peter Kaplan

The former editor of the New York Observer, profiled.

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The Ballad of the Fabulous Sports Babe

Catching up with the controversial radio host, who recently returned to the air after years away.

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The Secret History of Paul Thomas Anderson

The elusive director’s early years.

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The Last Happy Man

A profile of the oft-shirtless tight end Rob Gronkowski.

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The House That Hova Built

An essay on Jay-Z.

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Bill Clinton: Who Is This Guy?

The governor of Arkansas, profiled.

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Shattered Genius

The author attempts to interview Grigori Perelman, a reclusive mathematical genius.

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The Legendary Paul Ryan

An appraisal of the Wisconsin congressman’s “green-eyeshade fiscal conservatism.”

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Venus and Serena Against the World

The liberation of the Williams sisters.

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Waiting in the Wings

A profile of Chelsea Clinton.

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Fussbudget

How Paul Ryan remade the Republican Party in his own image.

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The High Life and Strange Times of the Pope of Pot

The rise and fall of Mickey the Pope, the founder of a New York City marijuana delivery business.

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The Economics of Serial Dating: A Case Study

What one woman spends in a year.

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The Long, Lawless Ride of Sheriff Joe Arpaio

A profile of “not just the toughest but the most corrupt and abusive sheriff in America.”

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Julie Delpy Rocks New York

A profile of the actress and screenwriter.

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We Are Alive

A profile of Bruce Springsteen.

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Immigrant Number One

What became of Annie Moore, the first person to arrive on Ellis Island?

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What's So Effective About Stephen Covey?

A profile of the man behind the “7 Habits.”

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No More Mr. Nice Guy

A profile of Chief Justice John Roberts.

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The Passion of John Wojnowski

What would drive a man to stand outside the Vatican embassy nearly every day for 14 years?

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'Is He Happy? Is He All Right?'

A profile of Larry King at the height of his fame and on the heels of his sixth divorce.

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The Heather Graham Story

A self-conscious celebrity profile.

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Coultergeist

A profile of Ann Coulter, “the glowing scimitar of the American right.”

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‘I Just Want to Feel Everything’

A profile of Fiona Apple.

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Coffee Club Closes

A coffee shop owner finally gets to shut down his store.

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Gay Marriage’s Jewish Pioneer

Meet Faygele ben Miriam, the radical activist “beyond the leading edge” of the same-sex marriage fight.

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Country Music's Sparkle King

A profile of fashion designer Nudie Cohn, who made clothing for Elvis, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, and others.

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Pressing the Flesh

A profile of Fleshlight inventor Steve Shubin.

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The Anchor

A profile of Univision’s Jorge Ramos.

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Amen! (D'Angelo's Back)

A profile of the singer as he returns to the stage for the first time in a dozen years.

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The Pretender

A profile of singer-songwriter Will Oldham.

He has settled into character as an uncanny troubadour, singing a sort of transfigured country music, and he has become, in his own subterranean way, a canonical figure. Johnny Cash covered him, Björk has championed him (she invited him to appear on the soundtrack of “Drawing Restraint 9”), and Madonna, he suspects, has quoted him (her song “Let It Will Be” seems to borrow from his “O Let It Be,” though he says, “I’m fully prepared to accept that it’s a coincidence”).

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The Madness of General Mladic

A profile of former Bosnia Serb military commander Ratko Mladic, whose war crimes trial began, and was abruptly suspended, this week.

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The Devils in the Diva

A posthumous profile of Whitney Houston.

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Man Up Bieber

“Being Justin Bieber means having an endless number of T-shirts to destroy.” A profile of the pop star just after his 18th birthday.

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The Visionary

A profile of Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian Prime Minister.

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Not Nice

A profile of Maurice Sendak.

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Lay It Down, Clowns!

The Beastie Boys on tour in Los Angeles shortly after the release of their debut album, Licensed to Ill.

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How Samuel L. Jackson Became His Own Genre

A profile of the hardworking Samuel L. Jackson, whose movies have grossed more than any actor’s ever.

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A Rumbling of Things Unknown

On Marilyn Monroe and the pains of post-war America.

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Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch

“That learning to cook could lead an American woman to success of any kind would have seemed utterly implausible in 1949; that it is so thoroughly plausible 60 years later owes everything to Julia Child’s legacy.”

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Greening the Ghetto

A profile of environmental activist Van Jones.

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Who Was Cowboy Neal?

Neal punctuated Jack’s riffing with his “yesses” and “that’s rights,” head bobbing on his neck like a novice prizefighter’s. After four years of New York nihilism and intellection, Neal – wiping Jack’s face with his handkerchief – Neal – who looked so much like Jack himself, an athlete like Jack – celebrated lover of women and sharer of Allen’s passionate dark soul – finally the long-lost brother who said, “Go ahead, everything you do is great” – “a Western kinsmen of the sun” – “a wild yea-saying over-burst of American joy.”

The life and myth of Neal Cassady, Beat companion and muse for Kesey, Wolfe, Kerouac, Ginsberg, The Grateful Dead and more.

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How Do You Explain Gene Weingarten?

A profile of the eccentric Gene Weingarten, the only person to twice win the Pulitzer for feature writing.

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The Big Book

A profile of Robert Caro, who’s been working on a biography on Lyndon Johnson for nearly 40 years.

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Being James Brown

A profile.

When we're introduced, I spend a long moment trying to conjugate the reality of James Brown's face, one I've contemplated as an album-cover totem since I was thirteen or fourteen: that impossible slant of jaw and cheekbone, that Pop Art slash of teeth, the unmistakable rage of impatience lurking in the eyes. It's a face drawn by Jack Kirby or Milton Caniff, that's for sure, a visage engineered for maximum impact at great distances, from back rows of auditoriums.

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Pavement: The Return of the Heavily-Favored Underdogs

Stylistically speaking, in terms of clothing, they arrived in shirts and pants and shoes (there’s really no other way to say it). They had haircuts, but it didn’t really look it. While other bands were mumbling or over-enunciating their dreary positions or penny-candy philosophies, Pavement kind of screamed for a generation. But they did it in a way that was so deeply American that it was almost Scandinavian.

Playwright Will Eno profiles the band and their cult as they grow up and prepare for a reunion.

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The Sensational Tito Gaona And His Spectacular Aerial Flights

A profile of the “acrobatic genius of the trapeze”:

As he spoke, he looked up at the pipes and swings in the arena ceiling. A mechanic was working on the rigging, but Tito spoke thoughtfully, for he seemed to be seeing something else. "Sometimes I see movies of myself in the air and I say, 'Jesus, how can I do that?' I wonder who do I think I am ... but, yes, I do admire myself in films sometimes as if I am watching another person. I have sometimes dreamed my tricks at night, you know, and then tried to master them from the dream."

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Bob Dole

The Republican candidate works a room, as excerpted from Richard Ben Cramer's biography of the senator:
No one can do that day after day, week after week, for years ... without some rock-hard certainty that can't be milled away by nonsense and stress. He has to know: Why him? And: Why now? ... He has to know that he is The One. And if he's strong enough to keep going-if he's able, smart, and lucky-then, he'll get to the final twist in the road, when things catch fire, he can see how his words make the people feel, he can feel how those words now matter to him. He can make all the difference just by walking into a room. There are thousands of people -- and they want him. He and his campaign fill the lives of people who are almost strangers, and he takes over the life of everyone dear to him. He has to, it's all right -- because it's that important. Now, he knows: Not only should I be President, I am going to be President!
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Björk’s Big Bang

The artist discusses her latest record, Biophilia, science and music education. 

Up until she developed a vocal-cord nodule a few years ago, Björk made a point of not investigating how that instrument worked. “With arrangements and lyrics,” she says, squinting over her coffee, “I work more with the left side of my brain. But my voice has always been very right brain. I didn’t try to analyze it at all. I didn’t even know until I started all this voice work, two years ago, what my range was. I didn’t want to let the academic side into that—I worried the mystery would go.”

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Whatever Happened to Ted Turner?

The Mouth of the South is leading a relatively quiet life.

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The Man in the Glass House

A pilgrimage to J.D. Salinger’s New Hampshire home:

The silence surrounding this place is not just any silence. It is the work of a lifetime. It is the work of renunciation and determination and expensive litigation. It is a silence of self-exile, cunning, and contemplation. In its own powerful, invisible way, the silence is in itself an eloquent work of art. It is the Great Wall of Silence J.D. Salinger has built around himself.

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The Last Gentleman

On New Yorker writer George W. S. Trow’s descent into madness.

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The Mysterious Mr. Zedzed: The Wickedest Man in the World

Few men have acquired so scandalous a reputation as did Basil Zaharoff, alias Count Zacharoff, alias Prince Zacharias Basileus Zacharoff, known to his intimates as “Zedzed.” Born in Anatolia, then part of the Ottoman Empire, perhaps in 1849, Zaharoff was a brothel tout, bigamist and arsonist, a benefactor of great universities and an intimate of royalty who reached his peak of infamy as an international arms dealer -- a “merchant of death,” as his many enemies preferred it.
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Gone Fishing

A profile of New York chef and fisherman David Pasternack.

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The Boy Who Played With Fusion

A profile of Taylor Wilson, who achieved nuclear fusion at age 14.

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How First Baptist's Robert Jeffress Ordained Himself to Lead America

Before I met Robert Jeffress, I wanted to hate him. Jeffress is the conservative preacher who made national headlines in October, when he called Mormonism a cult. He’s the senior pastor at First Baptist Dallas, the oldest megachurch in America, and I am certainly not a Baptist. He endorsed Rick Perry for president, and I’m definitely no fan of Perry’s. As a matter of fact, Robert Jeffress and I probably disagree on every major political and religious issue. And yet, I really, really like him.
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The Making of Gay Marriage’s Top Foe

A profile of Maggie Gallagher, founder of National Organization for Marriage.

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The Taming of the Chef

A profile of Gordon Ramsay.

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The Doctor Will Sue You Now

Why “Father of Botox” Arnold Klein, whose famous clients once included Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor, thinks everyone’s out to get him.

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Keith Haring: An Intimate Conversation

A profile of the artist.

"Unfortunately, death is a fact of life. I don't think it's happened to me any more unfairly than to anyone else. It could always be worse. I've lost a lot of people, but I haven't lost everybody. I didn't lose my parents or my family. But it's been an incredible education, facing death, facing it the way that I've had to face it at this early age."

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Hello, I’m Attorney Gloria Allred

As mainstream news loses its relevance, Allred becomes only more relevant to mainstream news. She’s provided thousands of hours of titillating material that has helped keep cable networks from grinding to a halt. The players come and go. Past clients like Amber Frey and Tiger Woods Mistress No. 1 Rachel Uchitel slip back into obscurity. Scott Peterson rots disregarded on death row in San Quentin, and Woods’s sexual escapades no longer mesmerize. But Allred retains her significance. There are always new victims to premiere and promote, new serial sexual harassers or psychopaths to square off against. In this spectacle of scandal, grisly murder, and celebrity wrongdoing, Allred has made herself the stage manager, the content provider, the indispensable performer.
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A Question of Fairness

Clarence Thomas, then-chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, profiled by Juan Williams:

He agrees with Reagan's characterization of the civil-rights leaders as old men fomenting discontent to justify their own "rather good positions." "The issue is economics—not who likes you." Thomas has told me. "And when you have the economics, people do have a way of changing their attitudes toward you. I don't see how the civil-rights people today can claim Malcolm X as one of their own. Where does he say black people should go begging the Labor Department for jobs? He was hell on integrationists. Where does he say you should sacrifice your institutions to be next to white people?"

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After the death of Jack Kevorkian, Lawrence Egbert is the new public face of American assisted suicide

A profile of the Final Exit Network's former medical director:
In those final seconds before his patients lose consciousness and die, the words they utter sound like Donald Duck, he says, imitating the high-pitched, nasally squeak familiar to any child who has sucked a gulp from a helium balloon. So, this is how a human being can leave this Earth? Sounding like Donald Duck?
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Some Like Her Hot

A profile of Michelle Williams.

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The Inner Quest of Newt Gingrich

Promise kept.

But his greatest presidential stumbling block may be right under his nose. At home, Newt's second wife, Marianne Ginther Gingrich, tells me she doesn't see herself in the First Lady's job. "Watching Hillary has just been a horrible experience," commiserates Marianne. "Hillary sticking her neck out is not working." What happens if Newt runs?, I ask. "He can't do it without me," she replies. "I told him if I'm not in agreement, fine, it's easy" --she giggles at her naughtiness. "I just go on the air the next day, and I undermine everything..."
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What Happens to the Children Nobody Wants?

Norma Claypool earned notoriety for welcoming 15 “hard-to-adopt” children into her Baltimore home. Norma Claypool is also elderly and blind.

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The Big Russian Life of Anna Chapman, ex-spy

A profile of the Russian spy-turned-Maxim covergirl.

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Hi, Society!

A profile of legendary Houston socialite Becca Cason Thrash.

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King of the Cosmos

A profile of celebrity astrophysicist Neil Tyson.

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Notes from a wedding: In the age of digital music and the relative bargain of a single DJ, wedding singer Kenney Holmes is determined to keep it real

A profile.

Because business ebbs and flows with the seasons and the economy, Holmes, who lives in Upper Marlboro, has always kept a variety of sidelines, including a job driving a limousine for nine years to put his oldest daughter through a private high school and college. These days, at gigs, he hands out a stack of million-dollar "bills" printed with his image and his current enterprises: bandleader, commercial mortgage broker, hard money lender (slogan: "Hard Money with a Soft Touch").

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Stumptown Girl

A profile of Carrie Brownstein, riot grrrl and creator of Portlandia.

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Business, Casual.

TheFacebook, as it was then called, had just reached 1.5 million users:
In the end, Zuckerberg says, quarrels over money rarely come up because money is not their priority. “We’re in a really interesting place because if you look at the assets we have, we’re fucking rich,” Zuckerberg adds. “But if you look at like the cash and the amount of money we have to live with, we’re dirt poor. All the stuff we own is tied up in random assets” like servers and the company itself. “Living like we do now, it’s, like, not that big of a deal for us. We’re not like, Aw man, I wish I had a million dollars now. Because, like, we kind of like living like college students and being dirty. It’s fun."
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Alone In the Dark

On the “horrible weirdness” of Kim Jung Il’s Korea.

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Slumdog Golfer

 The same forces that put his family in the slum also gave him the golf course on the other side of the wall, and the teachers and sponsors, and the strange ability to hit a ball with a club. But it still doesn't make sense. Sometimes it seems as if fate is wrestling with itself, making sure the circumstances of his birth are always conspiring to take away whatever gifts might allow him to escape it. He lives in two worlds, each one pulling away from the other. Anil is in the middle, trying to keep his balance.
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Barney’s Great Adventure

Frank rarely smiles, even when he’s being funny. “There are three lies politicians tell,” he told the real-estate group. “The first is ‘We ran against each other but are still good friends.’ That’s never true. The second is ‘I like campaigning.’ Anyone who tells you they like campaigning is either a liar or a sociopath. Then, there’s ‘I hate to say I told you so.’ ” He went on, “Everybody likes to say ‘I told you so.’ I have found personally that it is one of the few pleasures that improves with age. I can say ‘I told you so’ without taking a pill before, during, or after I do it.”
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Charlton Heston's Last Stand

A profile of the late actor-turned NRA president:

A figure emerges from the wings, more than six feet tall but appearing shorter, his torso inclined forward. Speedo propylene beach slippers make the journey to the podium with hesitant steps. Hip-replacement surgery and old age have dampened the fabled dynamism: no more battles with broadswords; no more chariot races for him. But above the uncertain legs, the chest is still massive, the cheekbones still chiseled, the broken nose as resolute as the NRA eagle on all those baseball caps bobbing above the crowd. As Charlton Heston approaches the microphone, his lungs swell, the vocal cords making their splendid, vibrant music out of ordinary air. "I'm inclined to quit while I'm ahead," he jokes. "But I won't. No!"

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What Women Want

A profile of a breakout male porn star:

The porn machine churns out performers to satisfy every fantasy, be it MILF, dwarf, fat, granny, or gang bang. But if you’re interested in watching a young, heterosexual, nonrepulsive man engage in sex, James Deen is basically it.

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The Glory of Oprah

A profile of the talk queen.

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After the Rapture

A profile of Harold Camping, a Christian radio host who (falsely) predicted the end of the world.

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Newt Gingrich: Shining Knight of the Post-Reagan Right

Nearly three decades ago, Mother Jones profiled a rising star in the Republican Party:

The divorce turned much of Carrollton against Gingrich. Jackie was well loved by the townspeople, who knew how hard she had worked to get him elected-as she had worked before to put him through college and raise his children. To make matters worse, Jackie had undergone surgery for cancer of the uterus during the 1978 campaign, a fact Gingrich was not loath to use in conversations or speeches that year. After the separation in 1980, she had to be operated on again, to remove another tumor While she was still in the hospital, according to Howell, "Newt came up there with his yellow legal pad, and he had a list of things on how the divorce was going to be handled. He wanted her to sign it. She was still recovering from surgery, still sort of out of it, and he comes in with a yellow sheet of paper, handwritten, and wants her to sign it.
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Michael Arrington's Revenge

On the TechCrunch founder’s venture capital fund, and a new breed of startup investor.

As Twitter-loving VC investors have become brand names themselves (Fred Wilson, Marc Andreessen, Chris Sacca), what one might call the auteur theory of venture capitalism has emerged—the idea that startup companies bear the unique creative signature of those who invested in them. To study a venture capitalist’s portfolio is to study his oeuvre.

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Up in the Old Hotel

Joseph Mitchell immerses himself in the Fulton Fish Market.

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Host

On conservative radio host John Ziegler and “the strange media landscape in which political talk radio is a salient.”

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The Revolutionary

A profile of Hugo Chávez, two years into his presidency.

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Meet Your Neighbor, Thomas Pynchon

Thomas Pynchon walks down a New York City street in the middle of the morning. He has a light gait. He floats along. He looks canny and whimsical, like he'd be fun to talk to; but, of course, he's not talking. It's a drizzling day, and the writer doesn't have an umbrella. He's carrying his own shopping bag, a canvas tote like one of those giveaways from public radio. He makes a quick stop in a health-food store, buys some health foods. He leaves the store, but just outside, as if something had just occurred to him, he turns around slowly and walks to the window. Then, he peers in, frankly observing the person who may be observing him. It's raining harder now. He hurries home. For the past half-dozen years, Thomas Pynchon, the most famous literary recluse of our time, has been living openly in a city of 8 million people and going unnoticed, like the rest of us.
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The Ghost

A profile of Hank Williams III.

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It's Good to Be Michael Lewis

On the writer and his impact on his subjects.

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Erik Turbenson suicide foreshadowed gay taunting trouble at Anoka-Hennepin

One student’s struggle, and the lawsuit that could put an end to a controversial “neutrality policy” in the Minnesota school district.

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The Permanent Candidate

What makes Rick Perry run?

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Three Generations Under One Roof

Portrait of a Chinese-American family living in New York.

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Michael Stipe Has Great Hair

A profile of the R.E.M. frontman.

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Rick Ross's Simple Lessons for Bosses, Dons, and Bitches

Rick Ross was born William Leonard Roberts II in 1976, and he borrowed his stage name (and the associated big-time cocaine-selling hustler persona) from the legendary L.A. drug lord Freeway Ricky Ross. But the website MediaTakeout uncovered a photograph of William Leonard Roberts II when he was a Florida corrections officer. Most people thought that'd be the end of his career. Freeway Ricky Ross then sued him for stealing his name. None of it mattered. Rick Ross the rapper just sold more records.
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"He Never Had Nothing, and He Always Wanted Something."

A profile of lifelong thief and 13-time escapee Chris Gay, aka “Little Houdini.”

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The Mohawks in High Steel

The story of the Caughnawagas, “the most footloose Indians in North America,” and their gradual assimilation.

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Clock Stopper

A profile of gallery owner Paula Cooper.

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Quack Prophet

A profile of Michel de Nostradame, better known as Nostradamus.

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The Writearound: Vanessa Grigoriadis

An interview with Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone writer Vanessa Grigoriadis on the finer points of celebrity profiling.

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Can Brian Moynihan Save Bank of America?

The CEO of the US’s biggest bank doesn’t have much charisma or a track record, but he’s “doing as well as any little Dutch boy can—sticking his fingers in the dike.”

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The Teenager & The Porn Star

An early profile of Sasha Grey.

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The Thin Man

A profile of Steve Buscemi.

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The Wanderer

Traveling with President Clinton.

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Baseball Without Metaphor

A profile of Barry Bonds published as the steroid talk intensified.

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The Avenging Angel

On the dying city of Port Arthur, Texas, and one man’s fight to save it.

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The Genius Who Lives Downstairs

Excerpted from the author’s biography of mathematician Simon Phillips Norton.

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Night-Shifting for the Hip Fleet

A look at the artists and writers who drive for a New York cab company. The story that inspired Taxi.

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The Impossible, Inevitable Redemption of Michael Vick

An attempt to sort out whether Vick is truly a changed man or simply a very gifted football player who was bound to be forgiven.

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Hollywood’s Information Man

As editor-in-chief of Variety, Peter Bart was one of the most powerful people in the entertainment industry. This piece got him suspended.

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Leap of Faith

How Michelle Bachmann became a GOP front-runner.

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Woody Allen: Rabbit Running

A profile of an up-and-coming director:

Well, according to Woody, his ascent has been a series of painful falls. Success hasn't changed him, Allen insists: he's still a schlemiel. "I'm afraid of the dark and suspicious of the light," he says. "I have an intense desire to return to the womb—anybody's." Ineptitude, Woody goes on, is a family curse.

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The Only One

A profile of Vogue Creative Director André Leon Talley.

From our guide to haute couture genius at Slate.

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“It’s Too Bad. And I Don’t Mean It’s Too Bad Like ‘Screw ’Em.’”

A profile of under-fire Goldman Sachs Ceo Lloyd Blankfein.

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Up All Night With Amy Winehouse

A profile of the late singer.

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Meet Wendi Deng: The Boss's Wife Has Influence at News Corp.

An early profile of Mrs. Murdoch that made her husband very angry.

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The Raging Septuagenarian

A profile of Rupert Murdoch, written before his empire began to crumble.

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Chasing Dash Snow

A profile of the hard-living, cop-dodging artist Dash Snow, published two years before his death of an overdose.

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The King of the Deal

A profile of Hollywood agent Irving “Swifty” Lazar.

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Typewriter Man

The need for a new letter on an old manual machine leads the author to the shop of Martin Tytell, now in his seventh decade as repairman, historian, and high priest of typewriters.

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A-R-E-T-H-A

A sit-down with Ms. Franklin.

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Vanishing Act

The last days of Spalding Gray.

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The Unquiet Life of Franz Gayl

The story of a Marine who saved innumerable lives, then got fired.

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“Let No Man Despise Thy Youth” –Timothy 4:12

A profile of 17-year-old Teresa Scanlan, the newly crowned Miss America.

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The Buzz Factory

This past Memorial Day weekend, Steven T. Florio, the president and CEO of Conde Nast Publications, made a dramatic change at The New Yorker, the most illustrious of the 17 magazines he runs for billionaire S.I. "Si" Newhouse Jr. He fired his own brother.
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The Last Ride of A.J. Foyt

A profile of driver A.J. Foyt on the eve of what was supposed to be his final Indy 500.

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Death Becomes Him

A profile of Ludwig Minelli, the head of the Swiss assisted suicide organization Dignitas.

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Paw Paw & Lady Love

The life and death of Anna Nicole Smith.

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New York Is Killing Me

A profile of the late Gil-Scott Heron.

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Supermoderate!

A profile of Arnold Schwarzenegger written during his first year in office as Governor of California:

"You know, the thing I love about Mexican women is how furry their pussies are."

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Shoot the Moon

A profile of Felipe Lopez, high school phenom.

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Strange Love

A profile of Hole lead singer Courtney Love.

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Maine senators may not like each other much, but they share love of state, job

A profile of Maine’s two U.S. senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.

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Mad German Auteur, Now in 3-D!

A profile of Werner Herzog.

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Kiki Kannibal: The Girl Who Played With Fire

The rise, fall and stubborn survival of a teenage Internet celebrity who discovered that the real world can be a very scary place.

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Jeff Bridges Makes a Decision

On what you do when you can do whatever what you want.

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The Zen of Eminem

A review/interview/profile:

Let's settle on the bald facts: Eminem has secured his place in the rap pantheon.

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The Possibilian

On a neuroscientist’s personal mission to solve the mystery of how the brain processes time.

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Robert Frank’s Unsentimental Journey

A profile of the famed photographer.

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Welcome to the Far Eastern Conference

On former Knicks savior Stephon Marbury and his post-NBA life playing in China.

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This ’Melo Is

A profile of Carmelo Anthony, newly anointed savior of the New York Knicks.

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Pursuing Self-Interest in Harmony With the Laws of the Universe and Contributing to Evolution Is Universally Rewarded

On Ray Dalio, who built the world’s biggest hedge fund by running it like a cult.

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What Does It Take for a Female Tycoon to Get Noticed Around Here?

On billionaire financier Lynn Tilton and her quest to become a public figure.

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Being Geraldo

A profile of the “lawyer-turned-journalist-turned-talk-show-host-turned-journalist.”

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The Misfit

On David Milch; Yale fraternity brother of George W. Bush, literature professor, longtime junkie, creator of NYPD Blue, Deadwood (which was in production when this profile was written), and the forthcoming racetrack-set HBO series Luck.

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Anchor Woman

A profile of a pre-30 Rock Tina Fey.

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Adventures in Extreme Science

A profile of computational biologist Eric Schadt, the guy who’s figuring out what comes next after the Human Genome Project.

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La Matadora Revisa Su Maquillaje (The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup)

A profile of a 25-year-old Spanish sensation.

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Hollywood's Leading Geek

A profile of Zack Snyder, director of Watchmen, Dawn of the Dead, and the upcoming Superman series.

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Predilections

A profile of the filmmaker Errol Morris as he prepared to release The Thin Blue Line after a decade of limited distribution, semi-poverty, and a side career as a private detective.

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A Pryor Love

On the life and career of Richard Pryor, as he neared the end of both.

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The Most Paranoid Man in America

A profile of Alex Jones, who draws a bigger online audience than Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh combined.

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The Fantasist

A profile of the (now former) director of the House of Dior, John Galliano.

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The Overheated, Oversexed Cult of Bikram Choudhury

The man who brought together heat, yoga, monthly fees to use his methods, and raw sexuality, on allegations that he has slept with scores of his followers: “Only when they give me no choice! If they say to me, ‘Boss, you must fuck me or I will kill myself,’ then I do it! Think if I don’t! The karma!”

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Queen of the Mommybloggers

A profile of Heather Armstrong, a mom in Salt Lake City who has more than 1.5 million Twitter followers and a personal blog generating $30,000-$50,000 monthly.

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As Seen on YouTube (and Pretty Much Only on YouTube)

A profile of Vova Galchenko, teenage juggling virtuoso and early viral star.

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"Just Smile"

Cathie Black, former magazine executive, currently Bloomberg’s hand-picked Chancellor of New York City schools

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The Oracle

A profile of Arianna Huffington.

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The Education of David Stockman

A newly minted, 34-year-old White House budget director gets a little too candid with a reporter profiling him during Ronald Reagan’s first year in office. Among Stockman’s many admissions: “None of us really understands what’s going on with all these numbers.”

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Will Oldham Interviews R. Kelly

On Sam Cooke, theme parties, and the importance of McDonald’s-related jingles when street performing.

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Show the Monster

A profile of director Guillermo del Toro.

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The Last Temptation of Ted

What has Ted Haggard, who left the New Life megachurch after admitting he purchased crystal meth and sexual favors from a male escort, been doing in the four years since? Selling insurance door to door and then… founding a new church and returning to the pulpit.

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Martin Peretz Is Not Sorry About Anything

A primer on Peretz, longtime owner/editor of The New Republic, committed Zionist, and author of the line “Muslim life is cheap.”

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Why Does Roger Ailes Hate America?

A profile of Roger Ailes, CEO of Fox News.

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Steve Jobs and the Portal to the Invisible

A profile of Jobs. The themes: immortality, relinquishing control, and how being adopted affected his choices for Apple. The lede: “One day, Steve Jobs is going to die.”

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America's Gandhi

A profile of the Time Man of the Year for 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Looking Behind the Mug-Shot Grin of an Accused Killer

The transfiguration of Jared Loughner.

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David Fincher Gets the Girl

A profile of the director, written from the set of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

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Allen Iverson: Fallen Star

A reporter heads to Istanbul, where Iverson is playing minor league hoops in a 3,200-seat arena and hanging out at T.G.I. Friday’s.

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A Different Drummer

A profile of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, written at the midpoint of his career.

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Lost at the Chateau Marmont

A profile of director Sofia Coppola.

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Winona Forever

A profile of Winona Ryder.

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Not All Smurfs and Sunshine

A profile of Esquire features writer Chris Jones. Plus: the Jones archive on Longform.org.

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Master of Play

A profile of video game artist Shigeru Miyamoto, the man behind Super Mario Bros.

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The Next Golden Child

A profile of 12-year-old actress Elle Fanning, Dakota’s sister.

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Home and Away

A profile of Yao Ming published during his second season in the NBA.

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Don Blankenship: The Dark Lord of Coal Country

The profile that led to the Massey Energy CEO’s resignation.

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Christian Bale May Kill Someone Yet

"Why are you putting all that muddle in your brain that's not needed to be there?"

An interview about why giving interviews is totally worthless.

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The Quaid Conspiracy

Randy Quaid and his wife Evi have fled to Canada and are living in their car. They are seeking asylum from the menace of the “Hollywood Star Whackers.”

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Angry Middle-Aged Man

A profile of Larry David, with a focus on his years as a struggling stand-up. “I was hoping that somehow I could get some kind of cult following and get by with that.”

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The Real Syl

A profile of Chicago soul great Syl Johnson.

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Burger Queen

A profile of April Bloomfield, chef at The Spotted Pig.

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Bravo L’Artiste

A review of several books on Rupert Murdoch first criticizes the authors for not grasping the many sides of their subject, then offers a thesis of its own. He’s “not so much a man, or a cultural force, as a portrait of the modern world.”

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David Lynch Keeps His Head

A “fanatical Lynch fan from way back,” David Foster Wallace visits the set of Lost Highway, never actually talks to the director, and writes a profile.

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“I’d Like to Be Trusted Again.”

A profile of of Courtney Love.

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Double Exposure

A profile of Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson, published at the height of the controversy.

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Who Is This Guy?

A profile of Ernie Adams, Bill Belichick’s mysterious right hand man.

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The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Himself

Tony Kushner and the burdens of being one of the last public intellectuals in American theater.

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Violence, Nudity, Adult Content

As CEO of HBO, Chris Albrecht was responsible for putting The Wire, The Sopranos, and Sex and the City on the air. Then he choked his girlfriend outside a Vegas casino, got fired, and took a job running Starz.

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Smuggler, Forger, Writer, Spy

A profile of Anas Aremeyaw, an investigative journalist in Ghana who’s willing to do anything–and pose as anyone–to get the story.

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Search and Destroy

A profile of Nick Denton.

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The Final Comeback of Axl Rose

Four years after a disastrous MTV performance had led him to avoid the public, Rose was back on stage.

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Did Somebody Say "Fringe"?

Not long ago, Rand Paul, opthalmologist and son of Ron, would have been written off as a wacky extremist. Thanks to his Dad and the Tea Partiers, he’s poised to become the most radical member of the U.S Senate.

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A Visit to Val Kilmer’s New Mexico Ranch

Where crazy things seem normal and normal things seem crazy.

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Madonna Rocks the Land

Scenes from Madonna’s first major tour and an author struggling to explain the 26-year-old’s massive, surging appeal.

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Chef on the Edge

David Chang’s manic quest for a flawless restaurant.

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The Internet Celeb Who Lives With Mom

A 2009 profile of the guy behind 4chan, Christoper “moot” Poole, his anonymous army of millions, and how it’s all losing him money.

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The Sound and the Fury

The surreal world of Sarah Palin and her road show.

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The Covenant

A profile of Francis Collins, a fervent Christian, former head of the Human Genome Project and Obama’s appointee to head N.I.H., now at the center of the stem cell research debate.

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Tycoon, Contractor, Soldier, Spy

The boyish CEO of America’s largest and most controversial mercenary force, Blackwater, also happened to be a C.I.A. agent.

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David Gergen, Master of the Game

A profile of the man who helped invent the modern art of presidential spin and came to embody the blurry line between journalist and government official.

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Secrets of Magus

A 1993 profile of Ricky Jay, one of the world’s great sleight-of-hand conjurers, historian of unusual entertainments and confidence scams, and bibliomaniac; who rarely performs and never for children.

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Emperor du Fromage

Christian Audigier is the man behind Von Dutch and Ed Hardy. The massive succes of his garish and expensive creations may say more about the power of celebrity than about fashion.

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The James Franco Project

Soap operas, enrollment in multiple graduate programs at once, student films alongside Hollywood blockbusters. Is James Franco’s entire career a piece of performance art?

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The Comedian’s Comedian’s Comedian

A profile of Garry Shandling.

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The Christian with Four Aces

Pat Robertson was 29 years old, possessionless, and living in a Bed-Stuy brownstone when he announced that God had told him to buy a fledgling TV station in Virginia. Here’s what happened next.

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The Patent Troll

Erich Spangenberg is in the business of owning other people’s ideas. He makes a fortune.

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‘Baby, Give Me a Kiss’

Inside the bleak world of Joe Francis, the man behind the “Girls Gone Wild” franchise.

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Toughing It Out

In March of 1991, Vanilla Ice had the #1 album in the country (To the Extreme), a movie about to be released (TMNT II: The Secret of the Ooze), and a dogged belief that his 15 minutes weren’t about to end.

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He Knew He Was Right

How Christopher Hitchens, a former socialist, became one of the most vigorous defenders of the war in Iraq.

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Show Him the Money

A profile of Tom Donohue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the sixth-highest paid lobbyist in the country. Since Obama took office, Donohue has scared-up tens of millions in new donations.

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The Rumpled Anarchy of Bill Murray

A 1988 profile of Bill Murray, then at the peak of his box office power and living in a secluded farmhouse in the Hudson River Valley.

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No Secrets

A profile of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange.

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M.I.A.’s Agitprop Pop

The contradiction-rich world of Maya Arulpragasam.

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Nick Nolte: Malibu’s Mad Scientist

How the actor ended up with a house full of tourniquets and syringes, an unflinching belief in the restorative powers of “ozone,” and the brain scan of someone who has “experienced the equivalent of blunt trauma.”

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The Champ and His Entourage

Muhammad Ali and his followers were the greatest show on earth. Then the show ended, and life went on.

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The man behind Abercrombie & Fitch

Profile of the flip-flop wearing 61-year-old ‘dude’ who turned around a dying company by selling all-American sex to teens – and isn’t apologizing.

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That Which Does Not Kill Me...

Inside the twisted, half-conscious world of Jure Robic, the Slovene soldier who might be the world’s best ultra-endurance athlete.

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The Runaway Genius

The struggle behind the making of Terence Malick’s first movie in twenty years and the two producers who, depending on your source, either made it possible or nearly ruined it.

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The Man the White House Wakes Up To

How the daily e-mail from Mike Allen, Politico’s star reporter, has become a morning ritual for Washington’s elite.

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¿Qué Pasa, Lou?

According to Lou Dobbs, we’re wrong about his stance on illegal immigrants, wrong about why he quit CNN, and wrong about his presidential aspirations. Well, we might actually be right about that last thing.

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The Power of One

At age 17, Bonnie Richardson won the Texas state track team championship all by herself. Then she did it again.

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What Makes Barack Obama Run?

In 1995, the Chicago Reader profiled a little-known professor (and lawyer and philanthropist and author) who had decided to run for office to get back to his true passion: community organizing.

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Growing up Gaga

From Stefani Joanne Germanotta to Lady Gaga: the self-invented, manufactured, accidental, totally on-purpose creation of the world’s biggest pop star.

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The fascist who loved me

When Nazi-sympathizing politician Jorg Haider died in a crash, his 27-year-old protégé Stefan Petzner was left to lead the Austrian far right—and to mourn the boss who he revealed was also his lover.