Brad Meltzer

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Brad Meltzer
Meltzer at a signing for The Escape Artist at Barnes & Noble in Union Square, Manhattan
Born (1970-04-01) April 1, 1970 (age 52)
  • Novelist
  • screenwriter
  • comic book writer
Alma materUniversity of Michigan, Columbia Law School
Genrepolitical thriller, superhero fantasy, non-fiction
Notable worksThe Tenth Justice
Jack & Bobby
Identity Crisis
Notable awards2008 Eisner Award for Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)[1]
SpouseCori Flam (1995–present; 3 children)

Brad Meltzer (born April 1, 1970) is an American novelist, non-fiction writer, TV show creator, and comic book author. His novels touch on the political thriller, legal thriller and conspiracy fiction genres, while he has also written superhero fiction for DC Comics and a series of short biographies of prominent people for young readers.

Early life[edit]

In 1993, Meltzer lived in Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts with roommate, fellow comic book writer/artist Judd Winick, working in sales at Games magazine by day while working on his first novel by night.[2] Afterwards Meltzer graduated from Columbia Law School,[3] and was selected to the Columbia Law Review.[4]


Meltzer in a 2003 publicity photo

Meltzer's books have appeared on the bestseller lists for fiction, non-fiction (History Decoded), advice (Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter), children's books (I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln), and comic books (Justice League of America), for which he won the Eisner Award.[5][6][7][8][9]

Meltzer is also responsible for helping find the missing 9/11 flag that the firefighters raised at Ground Zero at the World Trade Center site, making national news on the 15th anniversary of 9/11. Using his TV show, Brad Meltzer's Lost History, he told the story of the missing flag and asked Americans for their help in returning it. Four days later, a former Marine walked into a fire station in Everett, Washington, said that he saw Meltzer's TV show, and that he now wanted to return the flag. Meltzer unveiled the flag at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York, where it is now on display.[10][11]

Known for his thorough research, Meltzer counts former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush as fans, and both have helped him with his research.[12] During Brad's research, Bush gave Brad the secret letter he left for President Bill Clinton in the Oval Office desk.[13]

In September 2006, Meltzer participated in a work group with the CIA, the FBI, various psychologists, and Department of Homeland Security intelligence staff to brainstorm new ways that terrorists might attack the U.S.[14][15]

As an inspirational speaker, Meltzer's TEDx Talk, "How to Write Your Own Obituary", has been viewed over 50,000 times, and prompted TED to ask him to do another TED Talk: "Write Your Story, Change History", which has been viewed over 80,000 times.[16][17]

Meltzer helped preserve the house where Superman was created in Cleveland, Ohio, helping to create the Siegel & Shuster Society, then telling the story of the house and running an auction that raised over $100,000.[18]

Meltzer has worked with numerous organizations throughout Florida to promote literacy within the State. Meltzer has worked in the past with Florida Family Literacy Initiative, and is due to participate in the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County's 23rd Annual Love of Literacy Luncheon in March 2014.[19][20]

Meltzer was one of four authors selected to entertain at Barbara Bush's 90th birthday party in 2015.[21]

Meltzer aided in helping save the life of his 11th grade history teacher. When his teacher told Meltzer she was sick and needed a new kidney, Meltzer asked his 100,000 Facebook fans to find her a new kidney and in the process, helped find a donor.[22][23]

During Star Wars Night at the 2015 Marlins/Mets baseball game, Meltzer threw out the first pitch of the game, then proceeded to fight mascot Billy the Marlin in a lightsaber battle.[24]


His first novel, Fraternity, garnered 24 rejection letters, but he then sold his second novel, The Tenth Justice, while in law school.[14] In 1994, he co-wrote the original swearing-in oath that is taken by AmeriCorps members, and has been delivered by Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. In 1996, Meltzer created one of the earliest author websites for his first published novel, The Tenth Justice.[25] Over the years, every one of Meltzer's thrillers has made The New York Times bestseller list and The Hollywood Reporter has listed him as one of "Hollywood's Most Powerful Authors".[26]

While Meltzer was conducting research for his 2011 novel The Inner Circle, former U.S. President George H. W. Bush gave him a copy of the secret letter that he had left in the Oval Office desk for Bill Clinton.[27]

His popular “Culper Ring” novels, of which The President's Shadow is the third, imagine that a secret spy ring, founded in real life by George Washington, continues to exist today. His 2013 novel, The Fifth Assassin, follows a killer bent on re-creating the crimes of presidential assassinations from John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald.[28]

Meltzer's 2018 novel The Escape Artist debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times Hardcover Fiction Bestseller list.[29]


In May 2010, Meltzer released his first nonfiction book, Heroes For My Son, a book he had worked on for almost a decade, beginning on the night his first son was born.[30] The book is part of a two-book deal with Meltzer's publisher. He stated in a May 2010 interview that he was working on Heroes for My Daughter.[31] The book is a collection of stories from the lives of 52 people such as Jim Henson, Rosa Parks and Mr. Rogers, and was written with the intention of being presented one day to his then-eight-year-old son. It debuted at #2 on The New York Times Best Seller list.[32] Heroes for My Daughter also made The New York Times bestseller list.[9]

In January 2014, Meltzer and artist Chris Eliopoulos launched a line of biographies for kids, starting with I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln, which debuted on The New York Times bestseller list.[8][28] The books are part of a series, Ordinary People Change the World, whose books tell the stories of America's icons in an entertaining way to engage young readers.[33] He followed the initial books with I Am Albert Einstein, I Am Rosa Parks, I Am Lucille Ball, I Am Jackie Robinson, I Am Helen Keller,[28] I Am Martin Luther King, Jr., I Am Jane Goodall, I Am George Washington and I Am Jim Henson. Then in October 2017, I Am Gandhi and I Am Sacagawea were released.[34] In October 2018, PBS announced an animated adaptation of the series called Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum, which debuted in November 2019.[35]

In January 2019, Meltzer released The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington, cowritten with Josh Mensch.

In May 2020, Meltzer and his co-author Josh Mensch released The Lincoln Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill America's 16th President—and Why It Failed, which covers the foiled plot to kill Lincoln in 1861.[36]

Comic books[edit]

Meltzer speaks in 2019

Meltzer followed director Kevin Smith's run on DC Comics' Green Arrow and created a six-issue story arc for DC Comics' Green Arrow #16–21 (October 2002 – April 2003).

In 2004 he wrote the miniseries Identity Crisis,[37] which became one of the most controversial storylines of the decade,[38] one of the top selling books of that decade, and also one of the most popular.[39] It regularly makes the list of DC Comics' "best comics", "best moments", and even "best fights", praised by The New York Times and director Joss Whedon.[40][41][42][43][44][45] While the miniseries holds an average score of 7.3 out of 10 at the review aggregator website Comic Book Roundup, (the lowest issue score going to issue #7, with 5.3, and the highest going to issue #1, with 8.7),[46][47] it was criticized for its use of sexual violence as a plot device, for retconning events in DC continuity that critics and readers felt harmed the characterization of long-standing DC heroes,[48][49] and for influencing similar subsequent comics.[50]

Meltzer was one of many writers and artists who contributed to Superman/Batman #26 (June 2006), a tribute book dedicated to Sam Loeb, the son of writer Jeph Loeb, who died of cancer in 2005 at the age of 17. Meltzer scripted pages 11–12 and 19 of the comic book.[51]

Meltzer took over the writing duties for a 13-issue stint on the new monthly Justice League of America series, which started with issue #0 on July 19, 2006, and issue #1 following a month later.[52] Meltzer and artist Gene Ha received the 2008 Eisner Award for Best Single Issue (or One-Shot) for their work on issue #11 of the series. The award was presented by Samuel L. Jackson and Gabriel Macht.[1]

In 2008, it was announced that Meltzer would write an arc of Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight comic book for Dark Horse Comics. Whedon would later appear as himself, alongside Brian K. Vaughan and Damon Lindelof in the trailer for Meltzer's 2008 release of The Book of Lies. Whedon, Vaughan and Lindelof portray themselves as conspiracy theorists who believe in a so-called "Book of Lies" which, in Meltzer's novel, connects the original murder story (Cain and Abel) to the murder of Jerry Siegel's father, shortly before the conception of the iconic Superman character. In 2010, Meltzer wrote #32–35 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight.[51]

In January 2014 Meltzer and artist Bryan Hitch collaborated on a retelling of Batman's first appearance for Detective Comics (vol. 2) #27.[53] Meltzer and artist John Cassaday crafted the "Faster Than a Speeding Bullet" chapter in Action Comics #1000 (June 2018).[54]


Meltzer was the co-creator of the television series Jack & Bobby, which ran for one season (2004–2005) on the WB television network.

Meltzer hosted the History series Brad Meltzer's Decoded, which aired from December 2, 2010 to January 20, 2012.

On October 31, 2014, Brad Meltzer's Lost History premiered on History's H2 network, with Meltzer hosting. Each episode of Lost History presents both solved and unsolved cases and success stories where Americans have helped find missing historic objects such as the Ground Zero flag from 9/11 and the original Wright Brothers flying machine patent. Viewers are encouraged to submit tips to an online site, in an effort to provide key information leading to the return of these treasures. In September 2016, Meltzer hosted America's 9/11 Flag: Rose from the Ashes, which recounts how Lost History located and authenticated the missing 9/11 flag.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Meltzer lives in Florida with his wife, an attorney.[14] He has two sons and a daughter.[31] Brad is Jewish according to his verified Twitter.[55]



 #  Title Publication date ISBN
1 The Tenth Justice 1997 978-0688150891
2 Dead Even 1998 978-0688150907
3 The First Counsel 2001 978-0446527286
4 The Millionaires 2002 978-0446527293
5 The Zero Game 2004 978-0446530989
6 The Book of Fate 2006 978-0446530996
7 The Book of Lies 2008 978-0446577885
8 The Inner Circle 2011 978-0446573719
9 The Fifth Assassin 2013 978-0446553971
10 The President's Shadow 2015 978-0446553933
11 The House of Secrets 2016 978-1455559497
12 The Escape Artist 2018 978-1455571222
13 The Lightning Rod 2022 978-0062892409


DC Comics[edit]

Other publishers[edit]


 #  Title Co-author Publication date ISBN
1 Heroes for My Son 2010 978-0061905285
2 Heroes for My Daughter 2012 978-0061905261
3 History Decoded: The 10 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time Keith Ferrell 2013 978-0761177456
4 The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington Josh Mensch 2019 978-1250130334
5 The Lincoln Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill America's 16th President--and Why It Failed Josh Mensch 2020 978-1250317476

Children's books[edit]

 #  Title Publication date ISBN
1 I Am Abraham Lincoln 2014 978-0803740839
2 I Am Amelia Earhart 2014 978-0803740822
3 I Am Rosa Parks 2014 978-0803740853
4 I Am Albert Einstein 2014 978-0803740846
5 I Am Jackie Robinson 2015 978-0803740860
6 I Am Lucille Ball 2015 978-0525428558
7 I Am Helen Keller 2015 978-0525428510
8 I Am Martin Luther King, Jr. 2016 978-0525428527
9 I Am George Washington 2016 978-0525428480
10 I Am Jane Goodall 2016 978-0525428497
11 I Am Jim Henson 2017 978-0525428503
12 I Am Gandhi 2017 978-0735228702
13 I Am Sacagawea 2017 978-0525428534
14 I Am Harriet Tubman 2018 978-0735228719
15 I Am Neil Armstrong 2018 978-0735228726
16 I Am Sonia Sotomayor 2018 978-0735228733
17 I Am Billie Jean King 2019 978-0735228740
18 I Am Walt Disney 2019 978-0735228757
19 I Am Marie Curie 2019 978-0525555858
20 I Am Leonardo da Vinci 2020 978-0525555889
21 I Am Benjamin Franklin 2020 978-0525555919
22 I Am Anne Frank 2020 978-0525555940
23 I Am Frida Kahlo 2021 978-0525555988
24 I Am I.M. Pei 2021 978-0525556015
25 I Am Oprah Winfrey 2021 978-0593405826
26 I Am Malala Yousafzai 2022 978-0593405888
27 I Am Muhammad Ali 2022 978-0593405857


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  2. ^ Winick, Judd (2000). Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss and What I Learned. New York, New York: Henry Holt and Company. p. 17. ISBN 0-8050-6403-6.
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  12. ^ Rogers, Patrick (June 15, 2015). "The Author of DC's Best Thrillers Lives in Florida". The Washingtonian. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
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  14. ^ a b c "Brad Meltzer: Everything You Always Wanted to Know". 2012. Archived from the original on August 19, 2013.
  15. ^ Mintz, John (June 18, 2004). "Homeland Security Employs Imagination". The Washington Post. p. A27. Archived from the original on October 20, 2013.
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  17. ^ "Write your story, change history - Brad Meltzer". TEDEd. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
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  21. ^ "Mrs. Bush's 90th Birthday Celebration". June 8, 2015. Archived from the original on July 4, 2015. Featuring guest authors: Sandra Brown, Jill Conner Browne (Sweet Potato Queen), James McBride, Brad Meltzer
  22. ^ Gustines, George Gene (August 31, 2015). "History Channel Host Helps His Teacher Find a Kidney". The New York Times. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  23. ^ "Best-selling author helps his high school teacher find kidney donor". CBS This Morning. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  24. ^ Breznican, Anthony. "Author Brad Meltzer brings Star Wars to baseball on Force Friday". Entertainment Weekly.
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  29. ^ "Hardcover Fiction". The New York Times. May 27, 2018.
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  31. ^ a b "In Heroes From The Past, Lessons For A Son". NPR. May 11, 2010. Archived from the original on June 20, 2013.
  32. ^ "Best Sellers Hardcover Advice & Misc". The New York Times. May 30, 2010. Archived from the original on November 14, 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
  33. ^ Meltzer, Brad (2017). "Ordinary People Change the World". Penguin Group. Archived from the original on June 3, 2017.
  34. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (October 3, 2017). "MELTZER's New I AM Books: GANDHI's Superpowers & SACAGAWEA's Shattered Expectations". Newsarama. Archived from the original on October 4, 2017.
  35. ^ "PBS KIDS Announces New Series XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM, Premiering Fall 2019 | PBS About". PBS KIDS Announces New Series XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM, Premiering Fall 2019 | PBS About. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  36. ^ Schaub, Michael (May 5, 2020). "In Thriller Form, 'The Lincoln Conspiracy' Details Early Plot To Kill The President". NPR. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  37. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "2000s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 312. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. Identity Crisis gave DC's heroes and villains a darker tone and was not afraid to deal with contentious and startling topics. {{cite book}}: |first2= has generic name (help)
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  50. ^ Wilson, Matt D. (June 12, 2013). "Is DC Comics Backing Away From Identity Crisis?". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on September 24, 2014.
  51. ^ a b Brad Meltzer at the Grand Comics Database
  52. ^ Cowsill "2000s" in Dolan, p. 326: "After the success of Identity Crisis, best-selling novelist Brad Meltzer was given the job of relaunching the Justice League of America in the title's second series. With Ed Benes providing the pencils, Meltzer stripped the Justice League back to basics."
  53. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (January 6, 2014). "Brad Meltzer Honors, Modernizes Batman's First Appearance in Detective Comics #27". Newsarama. Archived from the original on May 21, 2014. Perhaps the most daunting task was given to Brad Meltzer and Bryan Hitch, who have created what DC is calling a 'modern-day retelling' of the first Batman story – the one in the original Detective Comics #27.
  54. ^ Johnson, Jim (April 18, 2018). "Action Comics #1000 Shows Superman Still Looks Good at 80 Years Old". Newsarama. Archived from the original on April 26, 2018. Retrieved September 15, 2018. Brad Meltzer's technical "Faster Than a Speeding Bullet," though, is a labored look at the Man of Steel's knack for saving the day, and is stiffly executed by the usually excellent John Cassaday.
  55. ^ "Untitled". Twitter. Retrieved October 14, 2021.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Green Arrow writer
Succeeded by
Preceded by Justice League of America writer
Succeeded by