Sylvia Nasar was born in Bavaria in 1947 to a German mother and Uzbek father. Her family emigrated to the United States in 1951 and lived in New York and Washington, DC, before moving to Ankara, Turkey, in 1960. In 1965, she returned to the USA and attended Antioch College where she majored in literature. After working for several years, she entered the PhD programme in Economics at New York University, completing a Master's degree in 1976. For a time, she did economics research, including with Nobel Laureate Wassily Leontief. At the age of thirty-five Nasar became a journalist. Since 1983 she has been a writer at Fortune, a columnist at US News & World Report and a reporter at the New York Times where she currently covers economics. A Beautiful Mind, her first book, was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography and the Helen Bernstein Book Award.