Who are Masha Gessen Parents: Meet Meet Yelena Gessen and Alexander

Masha Gessen is a Russian-American journalist, author, translator and activist who has been an outspoken critic of the President of Russia.

Masha Gessen Parents

Gessen was born into a Jewish family in Moscow to Alexander and Yelena Gessen. Their paternal grandmother Ester Goldberg, the daughter of a socialist mother and a Zionist father, was born in Białystok, Poland, in 1923 and immigrated to Moscow in 1940.

Ester’s father Jakub Goldberg was murdered in 1943, either in the Białystok Ghetto or a concentration camp. Ruzya Solodovnik, Gessen’s maternal grandmother, was a Russian-born intellectual who worked as a censor for the Stalinist government until she was fired during an antisemitic purge.

Masha Gessen’s maternal grandfather Samuil was a committed Bolshevik who died during World War II, leaving Ruzya to raise Yelena alone.

Masha Gessen Biography

She was born on 13 January, 1967 in Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union.

In 1981, when Masha Gessen was a teenager, they moved with their family to the United States. As an adult in 1991, they moved to Moscow, where they worked as a journalist.

She is 56 years old.

Masha Gessen holds both Russian and US citizenship.

Their brothers are Keith, Daniel and Philip Gessen.

His wife is Svetlana Generalova (m. 2004) Darya Oreshkina

Masha Gessen married Svetlana Generalova, a Russian citizen who was also involved in the LGBT movement in Moscow, in 2004. The wedding took place in the U.S. By the time Gessen returned to the U.S. from Russia in December 2013, they were married to Darya Oreshkina.

Masha Gessen has three children—two sons and a daughter. Their eldest son, Vova, was born in 1997 in Russia and was adopted by Gessen from an orphanage in Kaliningrad for the children of HIV-positive women.

Their daughter, Yolka, was born to Gessen in the U.S. in 2001. Their third child, a son, was born in February 2012.

Masha Gessen’s net worth or net income is estimated to be $1 million – $9 million dollars. She has made such an amount of wealth from her primary career as a journalist.

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Masha Gessen writes primarily in English but also in their native Russian. In addition to being the author of several non-fiction books, they have been a prolific contributor to such publications as The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, New Statesman, Granta, Slate, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Magazine, The New Yorker, and U.S. News & World Report. Since 2017, they have been a staff writer for The New Yorker.

As of 2017, Gessen serves as a visiting professor at Amherst College. They were named the John J. McCloy ’16 Professor of American Institutions and International Diplomacy for the 2017–18 and 2018–19 academic years. In October 2017, they published their 10th book The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia.

Published in April 2015 by Riverhead, The Brothers investigates the background of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing.

In March 2013, politician Vitaly Milonov promoted the Russian law against foreign adoption of Russian children by saying: “The Americans want to adopt Russian children and bring them up in perverted families like Masha Gessen’s.”

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In September 2012, Masha Gessen was appointed as director of the Russian Service for Radio Liberty, a U.S. government-funded broadcaster based in Prague.

In The Man Without a Face, Masha Gessen offers an account of Putin’s rise to power and a summary of recent Russian politics. The book was published on 1 March 2012 and translated into 20 languages.

Masha Gessen was dismissed from their position as the chief editor of Russia’s oldest magazine, Vokrug Sveta, a popular science journal, in September 2012 after they refused to send a reporter to cover a Russian Geographical Society event about nature conservation featuring President Putin because they considered its political exploitation of environmental concerns.

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