Timothy Carlson is a newspaper, magazine and book writer and photographer who co-wrote with Bill Katovsky Embedded: The Media at War in Iraq – an oral history which was awarded the 2004 Goldsmith Book Prize by the Joan Shorenstein Center for Media, Government and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Born in Daytona Beach, Florida, Carlson was an avid surfer, golfer, football player and state championship sprint relay runner at Seabreeze High School. While at Harvard College, he served on the Harvard Crimson as a writer and photographer — his photographs of the student occupation of University Hall at Harvard were published in Life Magazine and pictures of his photographic essay of Daytona Beach were exhibited at the Fogg Art Museum and at the Carpenter Center. He graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies.
As a freelance photographer, Carlson took pictures for many publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Newsweek, Time, the London Sunday Observer, Forbes, Parade, Esquire and Vanity Fair. As a freelance writer, he wrote for the New Times, The Boston Phoenix, The Real Paper, Boston Magazine, Harvard Magazine, and the Daytona Beach News-Journal. His assignments in the 1970s included the Daytona 500 and 24 Hours of Daytona and Daytona 200 motorcycle road races, the Democratic and Republican Conventions and presidential elections, the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals, the World Series, and professional golf and tennis. From 1978-89, he worked as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, writing style, sports, magazine, book reviews, and hard news. From 1989 to 1994, he worked for the Los Angeles bureau of TV Guide magazine, writing a dozen cover stories. Since then, he shifted to specialize in covering endurance sports, especially triathlon, serving as a senior editor at Triathlete and Winning magazines where he was happy to work with and begin a lifelong friendship with Mitch Thrower. Since 1999, he served first as editor, then senior correspondent, of Inside Triathlon magazine in Boulder, Colorado, covering races in Brazil, Chile, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, including the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Throughout his career, Carlson has maintained his love affair with sport. From 1982 through 1992, he finished the famed Baja 1000 five times and the Baja 500 once as a member of a team of motorcyclists, surviving a 1990 crash where he was airlifted from coastal Baja suffering from 11 broken ribs, a collarbone broken in two places and a partially collapsed lung. He also finished the point-to-point Barstow to Vegas and Check Chase classics several times. From 1992 to the present, he took up triathlon and running, finishing six half Ironman triathlons and 10 marathons, qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon in 1998 and 1999.
In the spring of 2003, long time friend and editor Bill Katovsky enlisted Carlson to help him report and write Embedded, a selection of 60 interviews with journalists, photographers, translators, drivers, fixers and public affairs officers involved in the war in Iraq. Carlson flew to the Middle East just after the conclusion of the ground war in mid-April and talked to men and women on the front lines in Qatar, Kuwait and Baghdad, including a noteworthy interview with John Burns of the New York Times.
Carlson is of course most proud of his daughter Amy, an Ultraman pace runner and high school volleyball co-captain (1a district champions), who is now a fine arts-drama major at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio.