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Columnist Glenn Greenwald, gay man who broke NSA leaks story, grew up in Lauderdale Lakes


Before he was breaking stories of seismic proportions, international journalist Glenn Greenwald was a Lauderdale Lakes boy hoping to win a seat on the city council at age 17.

It has been quite the trajectory for the 46-year-old gay man who most recently garnered national attention when he broke the story about Edward Snowden that has played out in media outlets globally.

When 29-year-old Snowden went public with proof of National Security Agency spying programs, Greenwald, a columnist for the British newspaper The Guardian, was there to tell the tale.

Political blood ran in the family and Greenwald’s own involvement in politics had early roots.

His paternal grandfather, L.L. Greenwald, was a Lauderdale Lakes city councilman from 1976 to 1980.

“I remember when hostages were being held during the Olympics,” said his mother Arlene Greenwald, 69, of Margate. “He was 5 years old at the time and he was really interested in that. I remember him being glued to the TV.”

The young Greenwald attended council meetings with his grandfather, becoming somewhat of a novelty.

Former Lauderdale Lakes Mayor Howard Craft suggested young Glenn channel his interest into a seat on the city’s recreation advisory board when he was just 8 years old to add a child’s perspective to a board geared for children. Greenwald later became the only teen member of the county Parks and Recreation Board from 1980 to 1984.

“I was strangely interested in municipal issues,” said Greenwald, now living in Rio de Janeiro. “Probably more than was normal for a child of that age.”

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