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Frank Bruni Named First Openly Gay Op-Ed Columnist in New York Times History

Veteran journalist formerly worked in the Times’ Washington bureau and as the paper’s chief restaurant critic

Frank Bruni will soon apply the same cutting tone he used in his restaurant reviews to current events as the newest addition to the New York Times opinion page, the paper announced on Monday. 

Bruni will be the first openly gay columnist in the paper's 160-year history. He will write a piece every Sunday and one other day of the week on a "big event." 

"Frank needs no introduction. If you don’t know his work as a political writer, a foreign correspondent, food critic, magazine writer (I know I must have missed something), then you haven’t been reading The Times for the last almost 16 years," Andrew M. Rosenthal, editor of the Opinion Pages, wrote in an email to the paper's staff.

Also read: Rich on Leaving the Times: 'I Was Incredibly Itchy'

Rosenthal said that Bruni's promotion was part of a large-scale reshuffling of the paper's Sunday Week in Review section. His first column will premiere with the newly conceived section. 

The Times' op-ed page was stung recently by the defection of star columnist Frank Rich to New York Magazine. Bob Herbert, a writer for the op-ed page for 20 years, also left the paper last March.

The Times did move to plug the hole, by upping business columnist Joe Nocera to the opinion section last April. Bruni is also presumably being brought on board to inject new life and fresh perspective to a page that had seen remarkably little turnover for the past decade. 

In addition to being the paper's chief food critic, Bruni worked in the Times' Washington bureau and was chief of the Times' Rome bureau. He most recently served as a writer at large for the New York Times Magazine. 

In addition to his news coverage and restaurant reviews, Bruni has also grabbed attention for writing about his struggles with bulimia and addiction to sleeping pills.

He authored two books, "Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater," about his battles with overeating, and “Ambling into History,” a chronicle of George W. Bush’s presidential campaign.

Prior to coming to the Times, he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for his work reporting on a child molester for the Detroit Free Press.