Benjamin Aaron Shapiro (born January 15, 1984) is an American conservative political commentator, public speaker, media executive, author, and former attorney. At age 17, he became the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in the United States. He writes columns for Creators Syndicate and Newsweek, serves as editor-in-chief for The Daily Wire, which he founded, and hosts The Ben Shapiro Show, a daily political podcast and live radio show. An editor-at-large of Breitbart News between 2012 and 2016, he has written ten books, the first being Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth (2004) and the latest being The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great (2019).
Shapiro grew up in a Jewish family in Los Angeles, California. He developed a talent for violin at a young age, having performed at the Israel Bonds Banquet in 1996 at twelve years of age. Shapiro's parents both worked in Hollywood. His mother worked as an executive of a TV company and his father as a composer. Shapiro's cousin is a writer and former child actress Mara Wilson. 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 articled 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.