Michael Korda

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Michael Korda (born 8 October 1933) is an English-born writer and novelist who was editor-in-Chief of Simon & Schuster in New York City.

Early years[edit]

Born in London, Michael Korda is the son of English actress Gertrude Musgrove, and artist and film production designer Vincent Korda. He is the nephew of Hungarian-born film magnate Sir Alexander Korda and brother Zoltan, both film directors. Korda grew up in England but received part of his education in France where his father had worked with film director Marcel Pagnol. He was schooled at the private Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland and read History at Magdalen College, Oxford. He served in the Royal Air Force.[1]


While in his early twenties, he moved to New York City where he was employed by playwright Sidney Kingsley as a research assistant. In 1958 he joined the book publishing firm, Simon & Schuster, starting as an assistant editor, which included the task of reading "slush pile" manuscripts. He became Editor-in-Chief of the company and was a major figure in the book industry, publishing numerous works by high-profile writers and personalities such as William L. Shirer, Will and Ariel Durant, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. Korda was a major part of Simon & Schuster for more than forty years and one of the most influential people in the business of book publishing. In the autumn of 1994, he was diagnosed as having prostate cancer. In 1997 he wrote Man to Man, which recounted his medical experience. In 2000, he published Another Life: A Memoir of Other People, about the world of publishing.[citation needed]

Among Korda's better-known books are Charmed Lives, which was a memoir about his life with his father and uncle, and the novel Queenie, which is a roman à clef about his aunt, actress Merle Oberon, which was later adapted into a television miniseries.

Private life[edit]

Michael Korda married first wife Carolyn Keese in 1958, and had one child, Chris, leader of the Church of Euthanasia. Michael remarried to Margaret Mogford, a former fashion model.


  • Male Chauvinism and How It Works at Home and in the Office, Hodder and Stoughton, 1972 ISBN 0-340-19936-9
  • Power! How to Get It, How to Use It, Random House: New York, 1975, ISBN 0-394-49314-1
  • Worldly Goods, Random House, 1982, ISBN 9780394512518
  • Country Matters: The Pleasures and Tribulations of Moving from a Big City to an Old Country Farmhouse, New York: Harper, 2001, ISBN 978-0060197728
  • Ulysses S. Grant: The Unlikely Hero, New York: HarperCollins, 2004, ISBN 978-0-06-059015-4
  • Marking Time: collecting watches and thinking about time, New York: Barnes & Noble, 2004, ISBN 9780760735763
  • Journey to a Revolution: A Personal Memoir and History of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Harper Perennial, 2006, ISBN 978-0-06-077262-8
  • Ike: An American Hero, 2008
  • With Wings Like Eagles: A History of the Battle of Britain, Harper, 2009, ISBN 978-0-06-112535-5
  • Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia, Harper, 2010, ISBN 978-0-06-171261-6
  • Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee, Harper, 2014, ISBN 978-0-06-211629-1


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