About Laurence Bergreen
Laurence Bergreen is an award-winning biographer, historian, and chronicler of exploration. His books have been translated into 25 languages worldwide.
His most recent book is Columbus: The Four Voyages, a New York Times bestseller, published by Viking in 2011, and available as a Penguin trade paperback in September 2012. It is a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, BOMC2, the History Book Club, and the Military Book Club, and is a New York Times Book Review “Editors Choice.”
In October 2007, Alfred A. Knopf published Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu, a groundbreaking biography of the iconic traveler. Warner Brothers is developing a feature film based on this book starring Matt Damon and written by William Monahan, who won an Oscar for “The Departed.”
His previous work, Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe, was published to international acclaim by William Morrow/HarperCollins in October 2003. A New York Times “Notable Book” for 2003, it is also in development as a motion picture and is now in its 25th printing.
In addition, Bergreen is the author of Voyage to Mars: NASA’s Search for Life Beyond Earth, a narrative of NASA’s exploration of Mars, published in November 2000 by Penguin Putnam. Dramatic rights were acquired by TNT.
In 1997, Bantam Doubleday Dell published Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life, a comprehensive biography drawing on unpublished manuscripts and exclusive interviews with Armstrong colleagues and friends. It appeared on many “Best Books of 1997” lists, including those of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Publishers Weekly, and has been published in Germany, Finland, and Great Britain. In 1994, Simon & Schuster published his definitive Capone: The Man and the Era. A Book-of-the-Month Club selection, it has been published in numerous foreign languages, was optioned by Miramax, and was a New York Times “Notable Book.”
His biography, As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin, appeared in 1990. This book won the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award and the ASCAP-Deems Taylor award and received front-page reviews in major American and British newspapers and appeared on bestseller lists; it was also a New York Times “Notable Book” for 1990. His previous biography, James Agee: A Life, was also critically acclaimed and was a New York Times “Notable Book” for 1984. His first book was Look Now, Pay Later: The Rise of Network Broadcasting, published by Doubleday in 1980.
He has written for many national publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Esquire, Newsweek, Details, Prologue, The Chicago Tribune, and Military History Quarterly. He has taught at the New School for Social Research and served as Assistant to the President of the Museum of Television and Radio in New York. In 1995, he served as a judge for the National Book Awards and in 1991 as a judge for the PEN/Albrand Nonfiction Award. A frequent lecturer at major universities and symposiums, and, on occasion, aboard cruise ships, he has served as a Featured Historian for the History Channel.
Mr. Bergreen graduated from Harvard University in 1972. He is a member of PEN American Center, The Explorers Club, the Authors Guild, and the Board of Trustees of the New York Society Library. He lives in New York City and is represented by Suzanne Gluck of William Morris Endeavor.Author Bio for Publicists & News Media (PDF)