After earning a BA from Queen College in New York City, Rabinowitz studied at New York University while teaching English at NYU and at Pratt Institute. In 1970, her book on aging, Home Life, was published, followed by New Lives, a book about death camp survivors, in 1976. She worked as a freelance writer, syndicated columnist, and commentator on WWOR-TV News in New York. In 1990 Rabinowitz became an editorial page writer and TV critic at the Wall Street Journal. Six years later, she joined the paper's editorial board. She also writes a column, “Dorothy Rabinowitz's Media Log” for the paper's website, OpinionJournal.com. In 2001 Rabinowitz won the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Commentary.