Jonathan Eig

  • New York Times Bestselling Author of Ali: A Life
  • Former Senior Writer, Wall Street Journal

Ken Burns calls Jonathan Eig a "master storyteller." Eig is the author of five books, three of them New York Times best sellers. He was born in Brooklyn and graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Eig is a former staff writer for The Wall Street Journal, where he remains a contributing writer. Eig has also written for The New York TimesThe New Yorker, and The Washington Post, among others. Prior to The Wall Street Journal, he worked as a feature writer for Chicago magazine and as a news reporter for The Dallas Morning News and The New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Eig's books have been published in 13 languages. His first book, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig, won the Casey Award for best baseball book of the year. Ali was named winner of PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sportswriting; best book of the year by Sports Illustrated; and one of the ten best non-fiction books of the year by The Wall Street Journal. Ali won best biography and best overall book in the British Sports Book Awards. It also won the award for best biography or memoir from the Society of Midland Authors. It was a finalist for Mark Lynton History Prize; the Plutarch Award; the William Hill Award; the James Tait Black Award for biography; an L.A. Times Book Award for biography; and an NAACP Image Award.

Eig has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and in two Ken Burns documentaries: Prohibition and Jackie Robinson. He is currently working with Burns and Florentine Films on a Muhammad Ali documentary. His next book will be a biography of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 

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A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Jonathan Eig
  • Chautauqua Institution
  • Planned Parenthood
Ali: A Life | Chicago Humanities Festival [53:31] - Get Sharable Link
Ali: A Life | Chicago Humanities Festival [53:31]
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Muhammad Ali and the Making of American Icons

How did the most hated man in American become one of the nation’s most respected and beloved figures—and what can we all learn from Ali’s journey? ...

How did the most hated man in American become one of the nation’s most respected and beloved figures—and what can we all learn from Ali’s journey?

Muhammad Ali and Faith

Ali’s religious journey was an unusual one, from Baptist to Muslim, with a lot of bumps along the way, but in his exploration of faith he asked and answered many familiar questions: What does it mean to believe? How do you apply your religious beliefs in the secular world? And what does one do when ...

Ali’s religious journey was an unusual one, from Baptist to Muslim, with a lot of bumps along the way, but in his exploration of faith he asked and answered many familiar questions: What does it mean to believe? How do you apply your religious beliefs in the secular world? And what does one do when the religious and secular world’s conflict? What moral lessons can we learn from Ali’s journey?

The Birth of the Pill

The invention of the world’s first oral contraceptive—pulled off by a band of renegades—not only changed the world but offers an example of how to fight attempts to restrict women’s access to contraception. ...

The invention of the world’s first oral contraceptive—pulled off by a band of renegades—not only changed the world but offers an example of how to fight attempts to restrict women’s access to contraception.

The Great American Lives

American history is perhaps best told by the stories of the individuals who shaped the nation. Those stories, however, are too often mythologized and simplified by Hollywood accounts. New York Times best-selling biographer (Muhammad Ali, Al Capone, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson) explores the lives of ...

American history is perhaps best told by the stories of the individuals who shaped the nation. Those stories, however, are too often mythologized and simplified by Hollywood accounts. New York Times best-selling biographer (Muhammad Ali, Al Capone, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson) explores the lives of some of the figures who shaped the twentieth century. Eig makes the case that history is best understood when we treat our important figures as complex humans instead of two-dimensional heroes.

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Biography

Ken Burns calls Jonathan Eig a "master storyteller." Eig is the author of five books, three of them New York Times best sellers. He was born in Brooklyn and graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Eig is a former staff writer for The Wall Street Journal, where he remains a contributing writer. Eig has also written for The New York TimesThe New Yorker, and The Washington Post, among others. Prior to The Wall Street Journal, he worked as a feature writer for Chicago magazine and as a news reporter for The Dallas Morning News and The New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Eig's books have been published in 13 languages. His first book, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig, won the Casey Award for best baseball book of the year. Ali was named winner of PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sportswriting; best book of the year by Sports Illustrated; and one of the ten best non-fiction books of the year by The Wall Street Journal. Ali won best biography and best overall book in the British Sports Book Awards. It also won the award for best biography or memoir from the Society of Midland Authors. It was a finalist for Mark Lynton History Prize; the Plutarch Award; the William Hill Award; the James Tait Black Award for biography; an L.A. Times Book Award for biography; and an NAACP Image Award.

Eig has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and in two Ken Burns documentaries: Prohibition and Jackie Robinson. He is currently working with Burns and Florentine Films on a Muhammad Ali documentary. His next book will be a biography of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.