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Richard Behar
Behar congratulated by President George H. W. Bush upon receiving Worth Bingham Prize
Behar congratulated by President George H. W. Bush upon receiving Worth Bingham Prize
BornNew York City, New York, U.S.
OccupationInvestigative journalist
Alma materNew York University
Notable awardsGerald Loeb Award, Conscience-in-Media Award, Worth Bingham Prize, George Polk Award, Overseas Press Club Award

Richard Behar is an American investigative journalist. Since 2012, he has been the Contributing Editor of Investigations for Forbes magazine. From 1982 to 2004, he wrote on the staffs of Forbes, Time and Fortune. Behar's work has also been featured on BBC, CNN, PBS, and Fast Company magazine. He coordinates Project Klebnikov, a media alliance to probe the Moscow murder of Forbes editor Paul Klebnikov. He is writing a book about Bernard Madoff.[1][2] Behar is editor of Mideast Dig.[3]

Education and career

Behar was born to a Jewish family[4] in Manhattan and raised on Long Island.[5] He is a 1982 graduate of New York University. Before joining Time in 1989, he was a reporter and associate editor for Forbes magazine for six years. He has also worked at The New York Times as a researcher and writer. Behar reported extensively about organized crime and the business backgrounds of politicians for Time, for whom Behar wrote a 1993 cover story on the World Trade Center bombing.[citation needed]

In 1991, he wrote "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power", a Time cover story on Scientology.[6] The acclaimed article won several awards.[7] The Church of Scientology brought several lawsuits over the article, all of which were eventually dismissed.[7] While investigating the story, he experienced some of Scientology's Fair Game tactics. He later learned that a copy of his personal credit report, containing detailed personal information, had been improperly obtained.[6]

A 2003 report by Behar in Fortune explored Donald Rumsfeld's role in helping North Korea build its potential Nuclear weapon capacity, in an article entitled "Rummy’s North Korea Connection: What Did Donald Rumsfeld Know About ABB’s Deal to Build Nuclear Reactors There? And Why Won’t He Talk About It?"[8] Behar is the only known journalist to have read the classified Phoenix Memo, the infamous pre-9/11 FBI document which warned the FBI about Osama bin Laden supporters enrolling in flight-training schools across the country.[9] Reporting from Pakistan for Fortune magazine and CNN after 9-11, Behar’s “The Karachi Connection” broke ground by exposing a logistics leader of the 9-11 attacks—including his secret travels near the Afghanistan border just days before the terror attacks. A second article, "Kidnapped Nation" revealed how radical forces are undermining Pakistan's economy.

Behar and Time Inc. were sued for libel in June 2001 by the billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben, who built one of the world's largest aluminum companies, Trans-World Group. They claimed Behar defamed them in a 2000 Fortune article. Shortly before trial, in July 2004, the suit was settled after Fortune ran a lengthy clarification.[10][11]

In October 2004, Behar left Fortune to pursue book writing and various independent projects, including the launch of Project Klebnikov, a global media alliance investigating the July 2004, murder of Paul Klebnikov, who was then the editor-in-chief of Forbes Russia. Behar also served on the advisory committee of New York University's business journalism Master's program (BER), and has long been reporting and writing a book about Bernard Madoff, to be published by Simon & Schuster.[1] The book was initially purchased by Random House.[2] In 2015, Behar co-wrote an article for the New York Observer that accused the Associated Press of improperly reporting civilian deaths in the 2015 Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.[12]

In 2015, Behar and journalist Gary Weiss co-founded The Mideast Reporter, now known as Mideast Dig, a not-for-profit news site and investigative journalism project. Its aim is to deepen news coverage of the Middle East. Weiss left the venture in November 2015.[12][13]


Behar has won more than 20 major journalism awards and honors for his reporting. Behar was included among the 100 best business journalists (the "100 luminaries") of the 20th century by the TJFR business journalism trade group.[citation needed] In 1999, columnist Jack Anderson called Behar "one of the most dogged of our watchdogs."[14]


Behar has won journalism awards, including:

  1. Gerald Loeb Award for distinguished business and financial journalism in a magazine(1992)[7][15]
  2. Conscience-in-Media Award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors (1992) "for singular commitment to the highest principles of journalism at notable personal cost"[7][16]
  3. Worth Bingham Prize (1992)[7]
  4. Cult Awareness Network's Leo J. Ryan Award[17][18]


  1. ^ a b "Contributor: Richard Behar". Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Neyfakh, Leon (December 19, 2008). "Richard Abate on Building a Better Madoff Book". New York Observer. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  3. ^ "The Mideast Dig website". The Mideast Dig. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  4. ^ Forbes: "There He Goes Again: Egypt's Morsi Stuns U.S. Senators In Meeting With 'Jews-Control-Media' Slur" by Richard Behar January 25, 2013 |"Next in the big-media batter’s box was the piece in Forbes, written by a fairly powerless Jew (me) who — it turns out — controls nothing at the magazine except this blog, just like hundreds of other journalists with blogs at Forbes and elsewhere."
  5. ^ Lindsay, Greg (July 9, 2008). "So What Do You Do, Richard Behar, Investigative Journalist, Fast Company?". Mediabistro. Retrieved December 25, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Richard Behar, "Ruined lives. Lost fortunes. Federal crimes: Scientology poses as a religion but really is a ruthless global scam – and aiming for the mainstream", book rev. of "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power, Time Magazine, May 6, 1991: 50, rpt. in, accessed May 11, 2007. [Part of "Special Report (cover story)".]
  7. ^ a b c d e "Judge dismisses Church of Scientology's $416 million lawsuit against TIME Magazine". Time Magazine press release via Business Wire. July 16, 1996. Archived from the original on March 24, 2005. Retrieved June 1, 2006.
  8. ^ Behar, Richard (May 12, 2003). "Rummy's North Korea Connection What did Donald Rumsfeld know about ABB's deal to build nuclear reactors there? And why won't he talk about it?". CNN Money. Archived from the original on November 22, 2007.
  9. ^ Behar, Richard (May 22, 2002). "FBI's 'Phoenix' Memo Unmasked". Fortune. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |url= (help)
  10. ^ Robinson, James (July 3, 2004). "Reubens settle Fortune case". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  11. ^ The editors of FORTUNE (July 12, 2004). "David and Simon Reuben: Update and Clarification". Retrieved October 19, 2020. ((cite web)): |last= has generic name (help)
  12. ^ a b Richard Behar, Gary Weiss (March 10, 2015). "How the AP Botched Its Investigation of Civilian Deaths in the Israel-Hamas War". New York Observer. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  13. ^ Weiss, Gary (March 31, 2016). " Announcement re Mideast Dig (formerly "Mideast Reporter")". Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  14. ^ "". Archived from the original on February 27, 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  15. ^ Papiernik, Dick (June 1992). "Editors on the move in Philadelphia, Florida; award winners announced" (PDF). The Business Journalist. Vol. 31, no. 1. Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. pp. 3–4. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  16. ^ Awards history at American Society of Journalists and Authors.
  17. ^ Behar, Richard (1992). "Leo Award Winner Richard Behar at CAN Conference 1992". (OLD) Cult Awareness Network conference, Los Angeles. Richard Behar, acceptance speech, 1992 Leo J. Ryan award. Retrieved April 25, 2008.
  18. ^ Henderson, Bob (December 28, 1992). "Hubbard from Pinellas to Russia". St. Petersburg Times. p. 1.
  19. ^ "The George Polk Awards for Journalism". Archived from the original on March 22, 2009. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved April 29, 2009.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ "Saja Announces 2003 Journalism Award Winners" (Press release). Archived from the original on July 7, 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  22. ^ "The Morton Frank Award 2002".
  23. ^ "2003 OPC Award Winners". April 22, 2004. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 20, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2012.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 18, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Retrieved May 11, 2010.