Alan Friedman is an American journalist, best-selling author, television personality, film producer and former media executive.  He was born on April 30, 1956, in New York City and was educated at New York University (NYU) (B.A. Politics and History), the London School of Economics (International Relations), and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (M.A. International Economics and Law).

Alan Friedman worked in the administration of U.S. president Jimmy Carter in the role of Presidential Management Intern in 1978-1979. He began his professional career working for the staff of Bella Abzug (D-NY) in 1976 and of Donald M. Fraser (D-MN) in 1977.

From 1979 to 1993, he worked for the Financial Times of London as a columnist on bonds, a banking correspondent, and a foreign correspondent in Italy and the United States. His professional relationship with the International Herald Tribune and RAI made way in 1999 to a joint venture for the co-production of the weekly programme World Business.

Friedman was recognized as the journalist who led the reporting on the Iraqgate scandal in 1991 that connected the CIA with the supply of non-U.S. origin weapons to Saddam Hussein. He won the British Press Award, the UK equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, for his coverage and also for his work in unveiling the BCCI scandal. Friedman was also awarded with the medal of Honor of the Italian Parliament in 1997.

His television career began in the early 1980s with regular appearances on BBC Newsnight. In 1992-1993, he participated, with Ted Koppel of the ABC Nightline programme, in the production of a series of broadcasts by ABC/Financial Times on the scandal of the weapons sale to Iraq. He later hosted The Alan Friedman Show, a peak talk show on the Sky TG24 news channel in Italy. It was dedicated to national and international economics and politics. From 1994 to 2003, he was global economics correspondent of the IHT. From 1998 until 2003 he was Chairman of IHT TV.

From 2003 to 2005, Friedman was global economy columnist for The Wall Street Journal in Europe. He was executive editor of World Business, a weekly global business programme that was broadcast on CNBC. Friedman created may successful and innovative programmes such as Fashion House, Queer Eye for the straight guy, Maastricht Italia and controcorrente, and he was a pioneer in early branded entertainment and native advertising programming.

In February 2014, Friedman’s new book Ammazziamo il Gattopardo (Let’s Murder the Leopard) was serialized with an excerpt in the Financial Times. The book also won the prestigious Premio Pavese and the Italian American foundation award.

In June 2015, it was announced in the Italian media that Friedman would write the first authorized biography of the former Prime Minister of Italy and media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi. His biography of Berlusconi was published in 19 languages and in 32 countries in the United States, Europe, and Asia. In 2016 he produced a documentary based on the book. In the documentary My Way: The Rise and Fall of Silvio Berlusconi. The film first appeared on Netflix and shows rare footage of Berlusconi at his estate in Arcore. Friedman lets Berlusconi chronologically tell his life story but confronts him with allegation about his scandals.  

In February 2017, Friedman published a book called This Is Not America (Biteback Publishing in United Kingdom and Newton Compton in Italy) that was highly critical of Donald Trump and examined the deep divisions in American society. The book was a bestseller in Italy for several months in 2017.

In March 2018, Friedman gave his first TEDx Talk at Oxford University to an audience of 1,800 people. In his talk, he criticized Trump for damaging the social fabric of the United States, sowing hatred and division, and leading a populist wave of demagogy that threatened America’s traditions of strength through cultural diversity.

As an author, blogger, and columnist for the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Friedman frequently makes appearances in Europe, and is often a guest commentator in the broadcast media. During his career Friedman has interviewed important personalities ranging from  Donald Trump to Vladimir Putin, Janet Yellen, Giorgio Armani and a plethora of prime ministers, presidents, top bankers and CEOs all over the world.

In 2023, Friedman co-wrote and produced the documentary feature film Milano: The Inside story of Italian Fashion with interviews with leading protagonists of the Italian Fashion history such as Giorgio Armani, Dolce and Gabbana, Tom Ford, Domenico De Sole, Santo Versace, Pierpaolo Piccioli and may others. The film also featured interviews with many top Hollywood stars such as Lauren Hutton, Sharon Stone, Frances McDormand, Helen Mirren and Samuel L. Jackson. The film Milano, directed by the Emmy Award winner John Maggio is expected to be released later in 2023.

Friedman is married and lives in Switzerland.