From left: Quick, Colvin, Cassidy, Bair, Easton, Sloan and Schwartz
FORTUNE -- Columnists are the heart and soul of any journalistic enterprise.The unfettered voices of a newspaper or magazine, they opine, snarl, and otherwise shout from the treetops.The best columnists have a mastery of subject, an ironclad take, and complete command of the written word. As Fortune columnist Geoff Colvin once told me, to succeed as a writer you must grab the reader by the lapels, shake him, and never let him go.
At Fortune we have long had a murderers' row of talented columnists -- which has now become even more murderous! I am very proud to announce the additions of Sheila Bair, recently chairperson of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), and John Cassidy -- an award-winning staff writer at the New Yorker (whose columns have already appeared in the magazine for a number of issues).
Sheila, as you may know, is from Independence, Kansas (not Missouri), and first came to Washington as a staff counsel to Sen. Bob Dole. She's also the author of two children's books that teach prudent money management. How about that!
As for John, well, he's a Yorkshireman who was educated at Oxford, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and New York University. He also has written two books regarding prudent (and imprudent) money management -- both for grownups, though: Dot.con and How Markets Fail.
Sheila and John join our lineup of sluggers, all pictured here except for Dan Primack, who was in New Zealand. There's the aforementioned Colvin, one of our most popular voices; the ultraconnected and way-smart Becky Quick of CNBC fame; Allan Sloan, probably our most high-profile columnist, who's won so many journalism awards I can't even count them; Washington senior editor Nina Easton, who is the ultimate inside-the-Beltway insider; and -- why, lookie here! -- that's Gil Schwartz, whom you may know better as his alter ego, Stanley Bing, arguably the most creative and iconoclastic columnist on the planet. That's a lot of heart and a lot of soul. And I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do.