Gail Collins (born November 25, 1945) is a liberal / progressive American journalist, op-ed columnist and author, most recognized for her work with the New York Times. Joining the Times in 1995 as a member of the editorial board, from 2001 to 2007 she served as the paper's Editorial Page Editor – the first woman to attain that position.
Collins writes a semi-weekly op-ed column for the Times from her liberal perspective, published Thursdays and Saturdays. In 2014 she co-authored a blog with conservative journalist David Brooks entitled "The Conversation," at NYTimes.com, featuring bi-partisan political commentary.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1945 as Gail Gleason, Collins attended Seton High School (Cincinnati, Ohio) then went on to complete a B.A. in journalism at Marquette University, in 1967, and an M.A. in government at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, in 1971.
Following graduation from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, she wrote for Connecticut publications, including the Hartford Advocate, and, in 1972, founded the Connecticut State News Bureau, a news service providing coverage of the state capital and Connecticut politics. When she sold the bureau in 1977, it had grown into the largest service of its kind in the United States. As a freelance writer in the late 1970s she wrote weekly columns for the Connecticut Business Journal and was a public affairs host for Connecticut Public Television.
From 1982 to 1985 Collins covered finance as a reporter for United Press International. She wrote as a columnist for the New York Daily News from 1985 to 1991, and for Newsday, from 1991 to 1995.
Collins joined The New York Times in 1995 as a member of the editorial board, and later as an op-ed columnist. In 2001, she was named the paper's first female Editorial PageEditor, a position she held for six years. She resigned from this post at the beginning of 2007 to take a six-month leave to focus on writing her book When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present, returning to the Times as a regular columnist in July 2007.
Beyond her work as a journalist, Collins has published several books: The Millennium Book, which she co-authored with her husband, CBS News producer Dan Collins; Scorpion Tongues: Gossip, Celebrity and American Politics; America's Women: Four Hundred Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines; the aforementioned When Everything Changed; and As Texas Goes: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda. She also wrote the introduction for the 50th anniversary edition of The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan; the 50th anniversary edition was published in 2013.
Collins taught journalism at Southern Connecticut State University from 1977 to 1979; and from fall 2009 until at least 2012 she co-taught (with Seth Lipsky) an opinion writing course in Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. She occasionally appears alongside her New York Times colleague David Brooks as a fill-in for Mark Shields on PBS Newshour's Political Wrap. She has been a frequent guest on NPR and on the radio talk show of Jon Wiener in Southern California.