Cord Jefferson
Occupationtelevision writer, journalist
Notable awardsEmmy Award, NAACP Image Award, Writers Guild of America Award

Cord Jefferson is a television writer, journalist, and essayist who has worked on the TV series Watchmen, Succession, The Good Place, and Master of None.[1] He is the recipient of an Emmy Award, NAACP Image Award, and two Writers Guild of America Awards.

Early life

Cord Jefferson was born in Tucson, Arizona to a white mother and black father. His father is an attorney. After his family lived outside the US for a few years until he was about 5 or 6 years old, he grew up in Tucson. His mother’s father was shocked by her choice to marry a black man and shut her and his grandson out of his life.[2] His parents divorced when he was 14 years old, after he finished his first year of high school.

He attended the College of William & Mary in Virginia, where he was one of a low number of biracial or black people. His father had attended law school there.[2] After college he lived in Los Angeles and in Brooklyn, New York.[3][4]

His mother died in 2016, of cancer.[4] When his father needed a kidney in 2009, Cord donated one of his kidneys, travelling to Saudi Arabia where his father lives.[3] He wrote a personal essay on this experience. He was treated for atrial fibrillation, after which surgery he stopped smoking and began to take better care of his health.[2]



As a writer, Jefferson got his start in journalism. Among his first jobs were writing for both Stereohyped and MollyGood.[5] He spent several years as an editor at Gawker until Gawker failed financially in 2016. He also wrote for publications including USA Today, Huffington Post, The Root, and The New York Times Magazine.[6]

Television writer

Jefferson wrote for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and then for Master of None.[7] He and Damon Lindelof won the Emmy for outstanding writing for the sixth episode (This Extraordinary Being) of Watchmen, which aired in November 2019.

In the middle of 2020, Jefferson worked on a TV series about his time writing for Gawker. He is developing the show for Apple TV+.[8] Later in that year, he signed an overall deal with Warner Brothers TV.[9]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Notes Refs
2018 Writers Guild of America Awards Comedy Series Master of None Nominated Shared with: Aniz Adam Ansari, Aziz Ansari, Andrew Blitz, Matt Hubbard, Zoe Jarman, Joe Mande, Matt Murray, Sarah Peters, Sarah Schneider, Michael Schur, Leila Strachan, Gene Stupnitsky, Lakshmi Sundaram, Lena Waithe, Jason Woliner, and Alan Yang [10]
2019 The Good Place Nominated Shared with: Megan Amram, Christopher Encell, Kate Gersten, Andrew Law, Joe Mande, Kassia Miller, Dylan Morgan, Matt Murray, Rae Sanni, Daniel Schofield, Michael Schur, Josh Siegal, Jen Statsky, and Tyler Straessle
2020 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series Won Episode: "Tinker, Tailor, Demon, Spy" [11]
Writers Guild of America Awards Drama Series Succession Won Shared with: Jesse Armstrong, Alice Birch, Jon Brown, Jonathan Glatzer, Cord Jefferson, Mary Laws, Lucy Prebble, Georgia Pritchett, Tony Roche, Gary Shteyngart, Susan Soon He Stanton, and Will Tracy [12]
Watchmen Nominated Shared with: Lila Byock, Nick Cuse, Christal Henry, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Jeff Jensen, Claire Kiechel, Damon Lindelof, Janine Nabers, Stacy Osei-Kuffour, Tom Spezialy, and Carly Wray
New Series Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special Won Shared with: Damon Lindelof (Episode: "This Extraordinary Being") [13]


  1. ^ "Cord Jefferson". National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "'Watchmen' Writer Cord Jefferson". Fresh Air. August 13, 2020. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Contributor Cord Jefferson". Huff Post. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Jefferson, Cord (November 2, 2014). "On Kindness: My mother is sick". Matter: Medium. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  5. ^ "Cord Jefferson". Eric Pesola. 2008-04-07. Retrieved 2021-07-10.
  6. ^ Phillips, David (July 28, 2020). "'Watchmen' Screenwriter Cord Jefferson on the Origin of Hooded Justice". Awards Daily. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  7. ^ Berkowitz, Joe (May 18, 2017). "From Gawker to "Master": How One Writer Made It to Aziz Ansari's Show". Fast Company. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  8. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (June 17, 2020). "'Watchmen' Writer on Trump in Tulsa, Bad Cops, and America's White Supremacy Problem". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  9. ^ Spivey, Kemberlie. "'Watchmen' Writer Cord Jefferson Inks Overall Deal With Warner Bros. Television". Forbes. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  10. ^ "Writers Guild Awards Winners & Nominees: 2019-2013". Writers Guild of America. Retrieved 2020-09-21.
  12. ^ "2020 Writers Guild Awards Nominees & Winners". Writers Guild of America. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  13. ^ "Watchmen". Television Academy. Retrieved September 21, 2020.