Nigella Lucy Lawson was born in London, England, on January 6, 1960. Her mother, Vanessa Salmon, was part of the Lyons Coffee House clan and her father, Nigel Lawson, later became a member of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's political cabinet. An avid reader, Nigella went on to attend Lady Margaret Hall College at Oxford University, where she earned a degree in medieval and modern languages.
Lawson decided to pursue publishing, and by the mid-1980s, worked as deputy literary editor for The Sunday Times before embarking on a freelance-writing career, penning stories for a number of prominent publications in the United Kingdom. Having developed a passion for cuisine after becoming The Spectator magazine's restaurant critic in 1985, she eventually helmed a bimonthly food column for The New York Timesand was appointed food editor at British Vogue.
Lawson wed fellow writer and broadcaster John Diamond; the couple had two children. Diamond died from cancer in 2001, with Lawson's mother and sister Thomasina having both previously died from the disease as well.
Book and TV Career
Nigella Lawson made her literary debut with the cookbook How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food, published in 1998 in Great Britain and 2000 in the U.S. She soon made a splash on television as well with her first show Nigella Bites, which debuted in the U.S. in late 2001.
Lawson has also written several other books, including How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking (for which she was named Author of the Year by the British Book Awards), Feast: Food to Celebrate Life and Nigella Kitchen: Recipes From the Heart of the Home. She's sold millions of copies of her books globally.
Lawson is a prominent figure on the Food Network as well, having hosted the shows Nigella Feasts and Nigella Express along with other programs on Style and E! Entertainment Television.