Caher, John M. 1957-

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CAHER, John M. 1957-


Born November 19, 1957, in Buffalo, NY; son of James Charles and Dolores Caher; married Kathleen A. McCarthy, May 13, 1989; children: Erin McCarthy, Kerry Ann. Education: Syracuse University, B.A.; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, M.S. Religion: Roman Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: Bicycling, running, exercise.


Home—Clifton Park, NY. Office—Times Union, P.O. Box 15000, Albany, NY 12212-5000.


Daily Messenger, Canandaigua, NY, reporter, 1980-84; Knickerbocker News, Albany, NY, reporter, 1984-88; Times Union, Albany, legal affairs reporter, 1988-97, state editor, beginning 1997; currently Albany bureau chief for the New York Law Journal.


John Peter Zenger award, New York State Bar Association, 1991, 1992, and 1993; Gavel Award, American Bar Association, 1992; Eagle Award, Hearst Corp., 1997; Continuing Coverage award, Associated Press, 1997; Erie County Bar Association award.


(With brother, James P. Caher) Debt Free! Your Guide to Personal Bankruptcy without Shame, Holt (New York, NY), 1996.

King of the Mountain: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of Chief Judge Sol Wachtler, Prometheus Books (Amherst, NY), 1998.

(With James P. Caher) Personal Bankruptcy for Dummies, Wiley (New York, NY), 2003, 2nd edition, 2006.

(With William E. Simon) A Time for Reflection: An Autobiography, Regnery (Washington, DC), 2004.


Award-winning journalist John M. Caher has built a reputation as a legal reporter in New York state. His books include works advising people on bankruptcy law and biographies about a colorful judge and a prominent politician, businessman, and philanthropist. Of the books about bankruptcy, both written with Caher's brother, bankruptcy attorney James P. Caher, Debt Free! Your Guide to Personal Bankruptcy without Shame was highly praised by David Rouse in Booklist for its "refreshingly understandable and practical explanations" on the law and how to use it to avoid such problems as lawsuits and foreclosures.

For his first biography, King of the Mountain: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of Chief Judge Sol Wachtler, Caher chose an interesting figure. Once chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, Wachtler was a highly respected and admired attorney who was laid low after a woman with whom he was having an affair broke off the relationship. Wachtler became obsessed, and began stalking and threatening her, finally ending up with an eleven-month jail sentence. After his release, Wachtler wrote a book about his experiences, reformed his ways, and now is a law professor. Critics admired Caher's portrayal of this complex man for its balanced look at Wachtler's positive and negative sides. A Publishers Weekly writer, for example, described it as "eminently fair and occasionally witty."

More recently, Caher assisted with the completion of William E. Simon's memoir, A Time for Reflection: An Autobiography. Simon, who passed away in 2000, was a former Secretary of the Treasury and a self-made millionaire who spent the last two decades of his life donating his wealth and time to worthy causes. Writing for the Empire Page online, reviewer Robert Ward wrote that Simon "wisely" chose Caher to assist with the autobiography, which Ward felt would appeal particularly to "political junkies."



Booklist, May 15, 1996, David Rouse, review of Debt Free! Your Guide to Personal Bankruptcy without Shame, p. 1554; March 15, 1998, Brian McCombie, review of King of the Mountain: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of Chief Judge Sol Wachtler, p. 1183.

Publishers Weekly, February 9, 1998, review of King of the Mountain, p. 86.


Empire Page, (April 14, 2004), Robert Ward, review of A Time for Reflection: An Autobiography. *