Edward Jay Epstein (born in 1935 in New York City) is an American investigative journalist and a former political science professor at Harvard, UCLA, and MIT. He taught courses at these schools for three years. While a graduate student at Cornell University in 1966, he published the book Inquest, an influential critique of the Warren Commission probe into the John F. Kennedy assassination. Epstein wrote two other books about the Kennedy assassination, eventually collected in The Assassination Chronicles: Inquest, Counterplot, and Legend (1992). His books Legend (1978) and Deception (1989) drew on interviews with retired CIA Counterintelligence Chief James Jesus Angleton, and his 1982 book The Rise and Fall of Diamonds was an expose of the diamond industry and its economic impact in southern Africa. After teaching at Harvard, UCLA, and MIT, Epstein decided to pursue his writing career back in New York City.
Epstein obtained his degree in Government from Cornell University. One of his professors at Cornell was Vladimir Nabokov, for whom Epstein worked part-time advising the writer on which recently released films he should see. In 1973, he received his Ph.D in government from Harvard University. He did his master's thesis on the search for political truth which later became a top-selling book.