Swisher graduated from Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service with a B.S. degree in 1984 . She wrote for The Hoya, Georgetown's school newspaper. In 1985, she earned an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University.
Swisher worked at an alternative newspaper in Washington, D.C. and The Washington Post, where she started as an intern and was later hired full-time.
Wall Street Journal
Swisher created and wrote Boom Town, a column which appeared on the front page of the Wall Street Journal's Marketplace section and online. She subsequently appeared on founded and served as the co-executive editor with Walt Mossberg.
Swisher wrote on technology for the paper. During that period, she was cited as the most influential reporter covering the Internet by the Industry Standard magazine.
In partnership with her fellow Journal columnist Walt Mossberg, Swisher created, produced, and hosted the Journal's annual conference, in which top technology leaders, such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs appear on stage with or without prepared remarks, or slides, and are interviewed by the two columnists.
She is the author of aol.com: How Steve Case Beat Bill Gates, Nailed the Netheads and Made Millions in the War for the Web, published by Times Business Print Books in July 1998. The sequel, There Must Be a Pony in Here Somewhere: The AOL Time Warner Debacle and the Quest for a Digital Future, was published in the fall of 2003 by Crown Business Print Books.
Other projects and accolades
Newsweek has said "many regard [Swisher] as Silicon Valley's premier journalist." In a profile headlined "Kara Swisher is Silicon Valley’s Most Feared and Well-Liked Journalist. How Does That Work?", New York Magazine said Swisher is one of the "major power brokers of tech reporting" whose "combination of access and toughness has made [her] a preeminent arbiter of status in a Silicon Valley."
Swisher is considered a tough interview by many. She told Rolling Stone write Claire Hoffman, "A lot of these people I cover are babies," Swisher says. "I always call them papier-mâché – they just wilt."
In 2016, Swisher announced she planned to run for mayor of San Francisco in 2023.
- Aol.com : how Steve Case beat Bill Gates, nailed the netheads, and made millions in the war for the web. New York: Random House International, 1999. ISBN 9780812931914, OCLC
- Kara Swisher; Lisa Dickey There must be a pony in here somewhere : the AOL Time Warner debacle and the quest for a digital future New York : Three Rivers Press, 2003. ISBN 9781400049646, OCLC