Suleika Jaouad Biography

Suleika Jaouad is an American motivational speaker, advocate, and writer. She has written essays, reported features, and commentary for The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, The Vogue, and NPR, among other publications. She is a New York Times bestselling author along with an Emmy Award in her name.

Early Life

Jaouad was born on New York City’s Lower East Side on 5th July 1988 to immigrant parents. Her mother is Swiss and her father is from Tunisia, North Africa which is where her parents currently live. She said in one of her interviews that at the end of each school year, her family used to rent out their house and use those funds to travel for the summer. They went to various countries from Nicaragua to Mexico. She said in one of her interviews that she found those trips to be extremely embarrassing as most of the other kids were going to Disney world for their vacations.

But now she feels that her unconventional upbringing played a major role in her life and she won’t trade it for anything else. Suleika attended The Juilliard School’s pre-college program for the double bass and earned her BA with highest honors from Princeton University where she majored in Near Eastern Studies and double minored in Gender Studies and French. During her time at Princeton, Jaouad worked on various human rights campaigns for the Centre for Constitutional Rights, Oxfam, and the African Union. She also did an MFA in writing and literature from Bennington College and studied abroad in Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt where she researched and wrote about women’s issues.

Suleika Jaouad Career

After Princeton, Suleika moved to Paris where she worked as a paralegal and dreamed of covering global conflicts as a journalist. But Life had something else for her and she was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia at the age of 22. She while being in the hospital started writing the acclaimed New York Times column and video series “Life, Interrupted and has since become a fierce advocate for those living with illness and other forms of adversity. She was given only about a one-in-three chance of survival and after nearly four years of chemotherapy, a clinical trial, and a bone marrow transplant, she is now cancer-free.

Her remarkable story which consisted of sorrow, aspiration, deprivation, resilience and a search for community and meaning is chronicled in her new book, Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of Life Interrupted. It is devoted to friends “who crossed the river too soon.” Suleika also served on the Presidential Cancer Panel of Barack Obama, the national advisory board of the Bone Marrow and Cancer Foundation, and the Brooklyn Public Library’s Arts & Letters Committee. Her magnificent skills in public speaking, reporting and advocacy work have brought her everywhere from the United Nations and Capitol Hill to a maximum-security prison and a two-room schoolhouse in rural Montana.

Awards & Other Works

She was accorded the Red Door Advocacy & Community Service Award. She is a notable speaker at different high schools, universities, hospitals, corporations, fund-raisers, and professional events. Suleika travels the world teaching writing and wellness workshops. She was a lecturer in the Narrative Medicine Program at Columbia University. She has been featured on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, NBC’s Weekend Today, CBS News, The Paris Review, the Los Angeles Times, and Darling Magazine, among others.

Suleika has launched and founded a “community creativity” project called The Isolation Journals to help others convert isolation into artistic solitude during the Covid-19 pandemic. Through this, she provides weekly writing prompts to about 100,000 people. She also is in the process of developing The Reckoning, a podcast, about “moments of great reckoning, good and bad.”

Suleika Jaouad Biography

Real Name Suleika Jaouad
Birth Date 5 July 1988
Age (as of 2022) 32 Years
Birth Place New York, New York, United States
Nationality American
Profession Writer
Religion Christianity
Sun sign Cancer

Physical Statistics

Height in feet inches – 5’ 7” – in Centimeters – 170 cm
Weight in Kilograms – 62 kg  –  in Pounds –  136 lbs
Hair Color Brown
Eye Color Hazel
Body Type Slim




School Juilliard School
College Princeton University

Relationship Status

Marital Status Married
Affair No
Who is her husband? Jon Batiste

Personal Life

Jaouad and Jon secretly married in April 2022 after a long time and living in New Jersey. Jon is a well-reputed jazz musician and she met him at band camp when she was 13. She has been in a committed relationship with Jon for more than ten years now. She is still being immuno-compromised and stays semi-isolated, socializing only with a small “quaranpod” of friends.

When Jaouad was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, she spent five years of her life at the hospital documenting her treatment for the New York Times. After recovering she embarked on a 100-day, 15,000-mile road trip across the country with her new best friend Oscar (a scruffy terrier mutt dog). She went out all the way to meet some of the strangers who had written to her during her years in the hospital.

Social Media

Jaouad is very much active on social media and keeps updating her followers on various platforms including Instagram, Twitter along with Facebook. She has verified social media accounts with a following of 47.1k on Instagram and 18k on Twitter. She also has a website to her name where she describes herself as a “New York Times bestselling author, Emmy Award-winning journalist, Creator of the Isolation Journals, & TED Speaker”.

Suleika Jaouad Net Worth

Suleika might have earned a lot of fortune through her career that has been spread in various fields now. However, she has not officially revealed her exact figure of salary, yearly income, and net worth to the media. Talking about her long-time boyfriend has earned himself a net worth of $4 million throughout his career.


  • She had only a 35% chance of surviving in the long run when she was first diagnosed with cancer in 2009
  • She survived and subsequently writes and speaks extensively about her medical experiences.
  • Jaouad started researching all of the great artists who had created masterpieces while bedridden like Marcel Proust, Frida Khalo, and Henri Matisse.
  • She started writing in the hospital and acknowledged that what started as a blog from the hospital bed turned into a weekly column and video series that she wrote for the New York Times.
  • Suleika has been an artist in residence at Ucross, Art Yard, and the Kerouac Project.

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