Edward J. Renehan, Jr.

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Edward John Renehan, Jr. (born c 1956)[1] is an American publisher, consultant and writer, and musician.[2][3] He made headlines in 2008 when he was convicted of document theft.[4]


Renehan grew up on Long Island and at aged 13 began learning the guitar.[3] He studied blues guitar with the Reverend Gary Davis in New York as a teenager.[5] By 20, he was playing and recording with folksingers Pete Seeger and Don McLean, among others.[1][3] In his early twenties he performed with Happy Traum, Artie Traum and others at various venues and folk festivals in the North East.[5]

From left: Happy Traum, Artie Traum, and Ed Renehan performing at a reunion concert, Albany, 2008

Renehan graduated from State University of New York at New Paltz.[1] Renehan worked for several New York publishing companies, focusing on the developing domain of digital publishing, including e-publishing and print-on-demand (POD) technologies.[1][3][6] From 1994, he worked as a consultant and author, including writing books on the Kennedys, Jay Gould, Cornelius Vanderbilt and John Burroughs,[3][7] as well as best-selling books about computers and computing.[1] In 2006 and 2007, while serving as acting director of the Theodore Roosevelt Association, he stole letters by Presidents Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt from its archives, which he sold for about $97,000.[4][7] In 2008 he pleaded guilty to a federal charge and a state charge related to the theft.[4] He apologized for his actions, which he stated occurred during the manic phase of bipolar disorder which was undiagnosed at the time.[4][7] "I alone am responsible for this one great, indelible stain which now and forever disfigures a life I am otherwise proud of", he said.[4] In September 2008, he was sentenced to eighteen months in minimum security federal imprisonment and was fined $86,000 in restitution.[4] Biographer T.J. Stiles cast doubts on the accuracy of certain claims in Renehan's book about Cornelius Vanderbilt, which was written during Renehan's manic period.[8][9][10] Following his release he continued to work in publishing, including founding New Street Communications which is focused on digital and POD editions.[11] On his website, he describes that medication he has taken since his diagnosis has stabilized his bipolar mood swings.[12]

Renehan is married, has two children, and lives in Rhode Island.[1][13] He has served on several nonprofit boards, including the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater[11] and that of the Southern Rhode Island Conservation District, and is active in the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association.[citation needed]


  • Dark Genius of Wall Street: The Misunderstood Life of Jay Gould, King of the Robber Barons (ISBN 978-0465068869)
  • The Kennedys at War
  • The Secret Six: The True Tale of the Men Who Conspired with John Brown
  • John Burroughs: An American Naturalist
  • Commodore: The Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
  • The Lion's Pride: Theodore Roosevelt and his Family in Peace and War
  • Great American Websites
  • 1001 Really Cool Websites (book/disc)
  • 1001 Programming Tools (book/disc)
  • The Scientific American Guide to Science on the Internet
  • Net Worth: Creating and Maximizing Wealth with the Internet (book/disc)
  • Science on the Web
  • The Clearwater Songbook (editor)
  • Hackerproof (1st edition), with Lars Klander
  • A RIVER VIEW and Other Hudson Valley Essays by John Burroughs (editor)


  1. ^ a b c d e f Fleming, Arline A. (14 November 1997). "Past, present and future, Ed Renehan has it covered: Where once he toiled in the world of Manhattan publishing, he's now the author of histories and best-selling computer books". Providence Journal-Bulletin. 
  2. ^ Neumeister, Larry (May 21, 2008). "Historian Admits He Stole Presidential Letters". The New York Sun. Retrieved 8 June 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Davis, Paul (May 29, 2008). "An author's life careens from scholarly pursuits to thefts". The Providence Journal. Retrieved 8 June 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Neuminster, Larry (September 19, 2008). "18-month sentence in NY presidential letters theft". Seattle Times. Retrieved 8 June 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Renehan, Ed (2011). "Music Bio". edrenehan.com. Retrieved 8 June 2011. 
  6. ^ Renehan, Ed (2011). "Ed Renehan - Tech Publishing". edrenehan.com. Retrieved 8 June 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c "U.S. historian sentenced for stealing Lincoln letter". Reuters. September 20, 2008. Retrieved 8 June 2011. 
  8. ^ T.J. Stiles (21 April 2009). The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Alfred A. Knopf. pp. 582–584. ISBN 978-0-375-41542-5. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  9. ^ Garner, Dwight (December 4, 2009). "The Reading Life: On Biography and Malpractice". artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  10. ^ Wolff, Carlos (April 27, 2009). "'First Tycoon' recalls the robust Cornelius Vanderbilt". Boston Globe. Retrieved June 9, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b Ed, Renehan (2011). "Ed Renehan - In Brief". edrenehan.com. Retrieved 8 June 2011. 
  12. ^ Renehan, Ed (2011). "Ed Renehan - Manic Depression". edrenehan.com. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  13. ^ Charlotte Zoë Walker (2000). Sharp eyes: John Burroughs and American nature writing. Syracuse University Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-8156-0637-6. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 

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