What’s Your Legacy?
When the Wall Street Journal told Brad that one of his charitable acts would be in his obituary, it sent Brad on a quest to find out what else his legacy might be. Hear the funny, inspiring, and always entertaining story that will never let you look at your life the same way again.
To see Brad’s incredible TED talk on this topic, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgiixRwn6xU
The Greatest Risk You’ll Ever Take
What’s the greatest risk you’ll ever take in your life? It’s admitting what you want. We all know what we want. But we rarely admit it. Why? Because putting yourself out there—especially emotionally—is scary. If you admit what you want, you risk not getting it. And failure terrifies us. So how do you actually pull it off? How do you take the greatest risk you’ll ever take in your life and admit what you want? You need to do three things: Remember what you love, remember what got you’re here, and most important, remember what terrifies you. See the commencement address that will leave you breathless.
You can see a version of this speech Brad at the University of Michigan Law School, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY7eH24tsh4
How To Be A Hero
On the night Brad Meltzer’s first son was born, he began collecting heroes for his boy. And for nearly a decade, Meltzer studied these heroes throughout history. From Thomas Jefferson (who had the humility to never publicly take credit for writing the Declaration of Independence) to the Wright Brothers (who brought extra materials to every test flight, anticipating their own failure) to George Washington to Rosa Parks to Mr. Rogers, Meltzer reminds us that their stories are not about fame ¾ they're about what we are all capable of on our very best days. See why Meltzer’s book on heroes¾from Jackie Robinson, to Abraham Lincoln, to Eleanor Roosevelt¾shot up the inspirational bestseller list. Let Meltzer teach you how to find the real hero in your life. And the power of never letting anyone tell you ‘No.’
Don’t Let Anyone Tell You ‘No’
Brad’s family moved from Brooklyn to Miami with only $1,200 to their name. A decade later, he got 24 rejection letters for his first novel. A year after that, he started his climb to the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List and his own television show. The adventure between is a classic tale with a truly incredible ending.
Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle, The Book of Fate, and ten other bestselling thrillers including The Tenth Justice, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, and The President’s Shadow. His newest thriller, The Escape Artist, debuted at #1 on the bestseller list. His newest book is the non-fiction The Lincoln Conspiracy, about the first secret plot to kill Abraham Lincoln.
In addition to his fiction, Brad is one of the only authors to ever have books on the bestseller list for Non-Fiction (The First Conspiracy), Advice (Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter), Children’s Books (I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln) and even comic books (Justice League of America), for which he won the prestigious Eisner Award.
Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum, the new TV series based on his children’s books, can be seen every day on PBS KIDS. He is also the host of Brad Meltzer’s Lost History on H2 and Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on the History Channel. The Hollywood Reporter recently put him on their list of Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors.
Brad is also responsible for helping find the missing 9/11 flag that the firefighters raised at Ground Zero, making national news on the 15th anniversary of 9/11. Using his TV show, Brad Meltzer's Lost History, he told the story of the missing flag and asked Americans for their help in returning it. Four days later, a former Marine walked into a fire station in Everett, Washington, said he saw Meltzer's TV show, and now wanted to return the flag. Meltzer recently unveiled the flag at the 9/11 Museum in New York, where it is now on display. See the video here.
For sure, it’s tough to find anyone being so successful in so many different mediums of the popular culture. But why does Brad thrive in all these different professions? His belief that ordinary people change the world. It is that core belief that runs through every one of his projects.
His newest thriller, The Escape Artist, introduces Nola and Zig, brand new characters in a setting that will blow your mind (you won't believe where the government let Brad go). For now, we'll say this: Nola is dead. Everyone says she's dead. But Jim "Zig" Zigarowski just found out the truth: Nola is alive. And on the run. Together, Nola and Zig will reveal a centuries old secret that traces back the greatest escape artist of all: Harry Houdini.
His illustrated children’s books I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln were written for his own children, to give them better heroes to look up to. Try them. You won’t believe how inspired you and your family will be. The next in the series will be I am Neil Armstrong (September) and I am Sonia Sotomayor (November). There will also be an I am Gandhi graphic novel for older kids and adults.
His other non-fiction books, Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter, are collections of heroes – from Jim Henson to Sally Ride — that he’s been working on since the day his kids were born and is on sale now, as well as History Decoded: The 10 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time.
He’s also one of the co-creators of the TV show, Jack & Bobby.
Raised in Brooklyn and Miami, Brad is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia Law School. The Tenth Justice was his first published work and became an instant New York Times bestseller. Dead Even followed a year later and also hit the New York Times bestseller list, as have all eight of his novels. The First Counsel came next, which was about a White House lawyer dating the President’s daughter, then The Millionaires, which was about two brothers who steal money and go on the run. The Zero Game is about two Congressional staffers who are – literally – gambling on Congress. The Book of Fate, is about a young presidential aide, a crazed assassin, and the 200 year-old code created by Thomas Jefferson that ties them together. For authenticity, The Book of Fate, was researched with the help of former Presidents Clinton and Bush. The Book of Lies, is about the missing murder weapon that Cain used to kill Abel, as well as the unsolved murder of Superman creator Jerry Siegel’s father. Brad is one of the only people to interview Jerry Siegel’s family about the murder and, with his charitable site www.OrdinaryPeopleChangeTheWorld.com, has been the driving force behind the movement to repair the house where Superman was created.
His book The Inner Circle (and its sequels, The Fifth Assassin and The President’s Shadow) is based the idea that George Washington’s personal spy ring still exists today. A young archivist in the National Archives finds out the spy ring is still around. He doesn’t know who they work for — but the greatest secret of the Presidency is about to be revealed. While researching the book, former President George HW Bush also gave Brad, for the very first time, the secret letter he left for Bill Clinton in the Oval Office desk. Oh, and yes, Brad was recruited by the Department of Homeland Security to brainstorm different ways that terrorists might attack the US.
Brad supports many worthy causes including putting mentors in underserved public schools with City Year, fighting breast cancer with Sharsheret, and serving on the Board of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation.
His books have spent over a year on the bestseller lists, and have been translated into over 25 languages, from Hebrew to Bulgarian. In The Tenth Justice, the opening lines are: “Ben Addison was sweating. Like a pig.” In the Hebrew translation, it became: “Ben Addison was sweating. Like a horse.” We’re not sure if it’s a kosher thing or what!
Brad has played himself as an extra in Woody Allen’s Celebrity, co-wrote the swearing in oath for AmeriCorps, the national service program, and earned credit from Columbia Law School for writing his first book, which became The Tenth Justice. Before all of that, he got 24 rejection letters for his true first novel, which still sits on his shelf, published by Kinko’s.
Brad currently lives in Florida with his wife, who’s also an attorney.