Robert Kurson

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Robert Kurson
Occupation Author
Alma mater Harvard Law School
Notable works Shadow Divers

Robert Kurson is an American author, best known for his 2004 bestselling book, Shadow Divers, the true story of two Americans who discover a World War II German U-boat sunk 60 miles off the coast of New Jersey.[1][2]


Kurson began his career as a lawyer, graduating from Harvard Law School, and practicing real estate law.[3] Kurson's professional writing career began at the Chicago Sun-Times, where he started as a sports agate clerk and soon gained a full-time features writing job.[4] In 2000, Esquire published “My Favorite Teacher,” his first magazine story, which became a finalist for a National Magazine Award.[5] He moved from the Sun-Times to Chicago magazine,[4][6] then to Esquire, where he is a contributing editor.[7] His stories have appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine,[7] and other publications.[6]

Shadow Divers[edit]

In 2004, Random House published Kurson's book Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II.[8] The book follows two New Jersey divers -- John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, as they spend six years leading an effort to identify a World War II German U-boat.[8] The book chronicles the quest to learn the identity of the mysterious wreck, dubbed "U-Who" by the dive team, the identities of the men aboard her, and how she came to rest on the ocean floor near New Jersey.[9][10]

Shadow Divers spent 24 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list peaking at #2, and has been profiled by publications including CBS News, TIME Magazine, NPR, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and others.[8][9][11][12][13] The book is often favorably compared Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm and Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air.[11] Shadow Divers was awarded the American Booksellers Association's 2005 "Book of the Year Award". The book was also awarded the American Library Association's Alex Award.[14][15] The book was translated into 22 languages.

Crashing Through[edit]

Kurson wrote the nonfiction book Crashing Through, which was published in 2007. Crashing Through recounts the story of Mike May, a prominent American entrepreneur and sports enthusiast, who regains his eyesight after a lifetime of blindness.[16] Kurson based the book on his 2005 award-winning article "Into the Light" in Esquire magazine.[17][18][19] "Into the Light" won the 2006 National Magazine Award.[20]



  1. ^ Maslin, Janet (2004-06-24), BOOKS OF THE TIMES; Bones Amid the China in a Sub At the Bottom of the Atlantic. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2007-12-08.
  2. ^ 11 weeks on The New York Times Best-Seller for 'Hardcover Nonfiction' as of 2004-09-26, The New York Times. Retrieved on 2007-12-09.
  3. ^ "About". Robert Kurson. 
  4. ^ a b "Writing Out Loud Lineup Announced". The News-Dispatch. 2008-08-17. Retrieved 2009-08-16. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Points of Pride.(nominations for National Magazine Awards)(Brief Article)". Esquire. 2001-06-01. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  6. ^ a b Robert Kurson website, retrieved December 8th, 2007
  7. ^ a b "In Town: Robert Kurson, C. J. Box". Journal Sentinel Inc. May 18, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  8. ^ a b c J. McCartney, Robert. "Into the Abyss". Washington Post. 
  9. ^ a b Grossman, Lev. "New Jersey's Lost U-Boat". TIME. 
  10. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike. "'Red' Director Robert Schwentke Jumps Into Fox 2000's 'Shadow Divers'". Deadline. 
  11. ^ a b M. Millard, Pauline. "A seaworthy U-boat saga". Los Angeles Times. 
  12. ^ Singer, Michelle. "Divers Tell Tale Of Mystery Sub". CBS News. 
  13. ^ "Best-Seller Lists: Hardcover Nonfiction". The New York Times. 
  14. ^ "2005 Book Sense Book of the Year Award Winners Announced". Book Web. 
  15. ^ "2005 Alex Awards". American Library Association. 
  16. ^ Maslin, Janet (May 21, 2007). "Book Review: Crashing Through". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  17. ^ "Crashing Through: A Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See.". Esquire. May 1, 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  18. ^ Kit, Borys. "'You Don't Know Jack' Writer to Adapt Book About Blind Man Who Regains Sight (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  19. ^ Arthur, Lisa. "Insight into a blind man's choices in "Crashing Through"". Seattle Times. 
  20. ^ "Honors". Esquire. 

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