Elisabeth Bumiller was born in Denmark to a Danish mother and American father, and moved to the USA at age three. She grew up in Cincinnati, and graduated from Northwestern University and Columbia University's School of Journalism. She became a reporter for the Washington Post in 1979, working in Washington, New Delhi, Tokyo, and New York, before joining The New York Times, where she has been City Editor and White House correspondent. In 1983, she married Steven R. Weisman, a fellow journalist with whom she has two children. She has written several nonfiction books on the lives of women since 1996.