Skip to main content

Area of Expertise

Roving feature writer: disability, books, capitalism, corporate behavior, skiing, painting

Ian Brown writes immersive, deeply reported, narratively-driven feature stories about a wide variety of subjects. He began his professional life at The Financial Post, writing about real estate, corporate intrigue and Ontario politics. Moving to Los Angeles, he wrote about golf, surfing and American culture. His three-part series about his disabled son was among the first multi-part multi-media stories published in The Globe and Mail, and went on to become a multiple-award winning book, The Boy in the Moon, which The New York Times judged one of the 10 best books of 2011. It has been published in seven languages.

Another three-part series, Saving Hope, about the inside life of Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital, was later used as a source document in the creation of the North American TV series of the same name. Ian has written award-winning articles on subjects as complex, various and hilarious as thoroughbred horse-racing, medical statistics, wedding customs, the science of housekeeping, high school life, back-country skiing, addiction and Canada's family business dynasties. His radio work is also extensive, as a contributor to This American Life and Morningside, and as host of no fewer than three CBC radio programs: Later the Same Day, Talking Books and Sunday Morning. Ian lives in Toronto with his wife, the writer and journalist Johanna Schneller; they have two children. When he isn't writing, he loves to read, look at paintings and ski in the back-country.

Why did you become a journalist?

Journalism is the antidote to power and shame. But even at its best it faces at least two huge challenges. How, in a world teeming with distractions, do you write a story, using only words on a page, that readers will remember, that actually moves them to tears or laughter or thought or action? And how, in that same incessantly distracted and complicated world, do you figure out what is actually true, as opposed to what's supposed to be true, or what others tell you is true, or even what you want to believe is true, despite the evidence? It's never easy, and it shouldn't be. But it makes me feel that I'm part of the world.


Years in Journalism


Years at The Globe and Mail


Trinity College, University of Toronto

Harvard University (diploma)

Honours & Awards

National Newspaper Awards

National Magazine Awards

Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction

BC National Award for Non-Fiction

Trillium Prize

Hilary Weston Writer's Trust Prize for Non-Fiction (shortlisted)

National Business Book Award, winner (FreeWheeling)

Professional affliations

ACTRA; Writer's Guild of Canada

Languages spoken


Ian Brown abides by The Globe and Mail Editorial Code of Conduct

Latest articles