Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Christgau Picture

(photo: E.J. Carr)

I began writing rock criticism for Esquire in 1967, was a columnist for The Village Voice from 1969 to 1972, and returned to the Voice in 1974 after two years as pop music critic at Newsday. Until 1985 I was music editor of the Voice, where I'm now a senior editor and chief music critic. I've been alphabetizing my letter-graded Consumer Guide column since 1969 and have overseen the Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll, which in 2002 canvassed nearly 700 working critics, since 1974 or 1971. I contribute regularly to Rolling Stone, various book reviews, and whoever else makes a reasonable offer. I've taught popular culture, writing, and journalism at numerous institutions of higher learning, most prominently NYU for most of the '90s, and have published five books--the now reprinted 1973 anthology Any Old Way You Choose It (Penguin, then Cooper Square Press), the 1998 essay collection Grown Up All Wrong (Harvard), and Consumer Guide-based anthologies for '70s, '80s, and '90s: Rock Albums of the '70s and Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s (both Da Capo) and Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s (St. Martin's). In 1987 I won a Guggenheim Fellowship to study the world history of popular music and in the fall of 2002 pursued the same project as a senior fellow in the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University. I'm a fireman's son from Queens who attended New York City public schools and graduated from Dartmouth in 1962. In 1974 I married the wondrous Carola Dibbell. Our daughter, Nina, was born in 1985. I turned 60 on April 18, 2002, a week after I keynoted the first EMP Pop Music Conference in Seattle and was presented with a festschrift, Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough.

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