Born: July 10, 1953
Ohio connection: Birth
Julie Salamon was born July 10, 1953, in Seaman, OH, daughter of Alexander (a general practitioner physician) and Lilly (a businesswoman; maiden name, Rapaport). Her father had survived Dachau death camp though his first wife and baby girl were lost to the gas chambers. After the war, he returned to Prague where he met Lilly, who had survived Auschwitz-Birkenau. The married couple moved to the United States and, after a short time in New York, Salamon’s father learned that a small town in impoverished Appalachia was in need of a community doctor. The Salamon’s moved from the big city to the small town of Seaman, Ohio, in an area where the landscape was reminiscent of Alexander’s childhood home in the Carpathian foothills of Czechoslovakia. They were the only Jewish family in the town of 714.
Julie enjoyed the type of childhood her parents had wished for their children - a normal, happy, upbringing free from danger and hatred. Salamon recalls pleasant memories of her early experiences in Seaman. “It was a beautiful place and people were nice. It's always been that dichotomy for me - between knowing that there was horrible evil in the world, that people could do unspeakable things, and having kind, generous parents and living in a community where people really did watch out for each other,” noted Salamon in a 2003 interview with Jewish Woman magazine. Salamon's father died in 1971, and her mother remarried.
Salamon is a graduate of North Adams High School and attended Tufts University graduating with a B.A. in 1975. At Tuffs, she met her future husband, William Abrams, a television executive. She graduated from New York University Law School in 1978 and chose journalism over law as her career path. Salamon and Abrams were married November 12, 1978. Her career in journalism includes staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, 1978-83; New York Times movie critic and weekly columnist, beginning in 1983, and culture writer in 2000. Julie Salamon has written a series of award-winning books, including Facing the Wind (2001), The Net of Dreams (1996), and Rambam’s Ladder (2003). The Devil’s Candy (1991) a Hollywood classic about film making gone awry, and her novella, The Christmas Tree, (1996) was a New York Times best-seller and has been translated into eight languages. She, her husband and two children live in downtown Manhattan.
1985 – Front Page Award, New York Newswomen's Club.1996 – Audie Award for Best Inspirational/Spiritual AudioBook, for The Christmas Tree.1997 – Florence Roberts Head Ohioana Book Award for Net of Dreams.2003 – Ohioana Book Award, category of nonfiction, for Facing the Wind.2005 – Ohioana Book Award, category of nonfiction, for Rambam’s Ladder: A Meditation on Generosity and Why it is Necessary to Give.