James Gleick

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James Gleick
Born (1954-08-01) August 1, 1954 (age 59)
New York City
Occupation writer
Citizenship United States
Alma mater Harvard College
Notable work(s) The Information (2011), Genius (1992), Chaos (1987)


James Gleick (/ɡlk/;[1] born August 1, 1954) is an American author, journalist and biographer whose best-selling books include The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood and Chaos: Making a New Science.[2] Three of his books have been Pulitzer Prize[3][4][5] and National Book Award[6][7] finalists, and The Information was awarded the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award in 2012. Gleick's books have been translated into more than twenty languages.[8]


Born in New York City, Gleick attended Harvard University, graduating in 1976 with his bachelor's degree in English and linguistics. Having worked for the Harvard Crimson and as a free-lance writer in Boston, Massachusetts, he moved to Minneapolis, where he helped found a short-lived weekly newspaper, Metropolis. After its demise, he returned to New York and joined as staff of the New York Times, where he worked for ten years as an editor and reporter.

After the publication of Chaos, Gleick collaborated with the photographer Eliot Porter on Nature's Chaos and with developers at Autodesk on Chaos: The Software. He was the McGraw Distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University in 1989–90. In 1993, he founded The Pipeline, an early Internet service. He was the first editor of The Best American Science Writing series.

Gleick is active on the boards of the Authors Guild and the Key West Literary Seminar.

Airplane accident[edit]

James crash-landed his Long-EZ at Greenwood Lake Airport, in West Milford, New Jersey in 1997.[9] Gleick was seriously injured and the passenger, his 8-year old son Harry, was killed.[10]


Among the scientists Gleick profiled in the New York Times Magazine were Mitchell Feigenbaum, Stephen Jay Gould, Douglas Hofstadter, and Benoit Mandelbrot. His first book, Chaos: Making a New Science, chronicled the development of chaos theory and made the Butterfly Effect a household phrase.

His early reporting on Microsoft anticipated the antitrust investigations by the U. S. Department of Justice and the European Commission. He wrote the "Fast Forward" column on technology in the New York Times Magazine from 1995 to 1999, and his essays charting the growth of the Internet formed the basis of his book What Just Happened. His work has also appeared in The New Yorker, the Atlantic, Slate, and the Washington Post.



  1. ^ "James Gleick Interview and Reading"
  2. ^ "James Gleick: Bibliography". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  3. ^ Gleick, James. "1988 Finalists". Chaos: Making a new Science. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  4. ^ Gleick, James. "1993 Finalists". Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  5. ^ Gleick, James. "2004 Finalists". Isaac Newton. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Gleick, James. "National Book Awards - 1987". Chaos: Making a New Science. National Book Foundation. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  7. ^ Gleick, James. "National Book Awards - 1992". Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman. National Book Foundation. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  8. ^ Gleick, James. "About". Bits in the Ether. Author's website. Retrieved 14 June 2011. 
  9. ^ National Transportation Safety Board Accident Report, NTSB Identification NYC98FA047
  10. ^ David Diamond: "James Gleick's Survival Lessons", Wired, 7.08, August, 1999

External links[edit]

James Gleick talks about The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood on Bookbits radio.