Benjamin Aaron Shapiro (born January 15, 1984) is an American conservative political commentator and media host. At age 17, he became the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in the United States. He writes columns for Creators Syndicate, Newsweek, and Ami Magazine, serves as editor emeritus for The Daily Wire, which he founded, and hosts The Ben Shapiro Show, a daily political podcast and live radio show. He was editor-at-large of Breitbart News between 2012 and 2016. Shapiro has written eleven books, the first being Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth (2004) and the latest being How to Destroy America in Three Easy Steps (2020).
Shapiro was born in Los Angeles, California, to a Conservative Jewish family of Russian-Jewish and Lithuanian-Jewish ancestry. At the age of 9, he transitioned with his family to Orthodox Judaism. He developed a talent for violin at a young age, having performed at the Israel Bonds Banquet in 1996 at twelve years of age. His parents both worked in Hollywood. His mother was an executive of a TV company[which?] and his father worked as a composer. Skipping two grades (third and ninth), Shapiro went from Walter Reed Middle School to Yeshiva University High School of Los Angeles where he graduated in 2000 at age 16. He graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2004, at age 20, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and then cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2007. He then worked at the law offices of Goodwin Procter. As of March 2012, he ran an independent legal consultancy firm, Benjamin Shapiro Legal Consulting, in Los Angeles.