Brad Meltzer

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Brad Meltzer
Brad pillar.jpg
Born (1970-04-01) April 1, 1970 (age 45)
Occupation Novelist, screenwriter, comic book writer
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Michigan, Columbia Law School
Period 1997 to the present
Genre political thriller, superhero fantasy, non-fiction
Notable works The Tenth Justice
Jack & Bobby
Identity Crisis
Notable awards 2008 Eisner Award for Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)[1]
Spouse Cori Flam (1995-present; 3 children)

Brad Meltzer (born April 1, 1970) is an American political thriller novelist, non-fiction writer, TV show creator and comic book author.

Early life[edit]

Brad Meltzer was born on April 1, 1970. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and then moved to South Florida, where he graduated from North Miami Beach Senior High School in 1988. He then obtained a degree from the University of Michigan, the first in his immediate family to attend a four-year college. 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, and was selected to the Columbia Law Review.[3]


Today, Meltzer is one of the few authors to have books on the bestseller list 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 even comic books (Justice League of America), for which he won the prestigious Eisner Award.[4][5][6][7][8]

Known for his thorough research, Meltzer counts former Presidents Bill Clinton and George HW Bush as fans, and both have helped him with his research.[9]

In September 2006, Meltzer participated in a work group along with the CIA, FBI, various psychologists, and Department of Homeland Security intelligence staff to brainstorm new ways that terrorists might attack the U.S.[10][11]

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 inspiring TED Talk: Write Your Story, Change History, which has not been viewed over 80,000 times.[12][13]

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.[14][15]

Meltzer was one of four authors selected to entertain at Barbara Bush's 90th birthday party in 2015.[16]

Meltzer is also responsible for 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 save her life.[17][18]

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.[19]


His first novel Fraternity garnered 24 rejection letters, but he then sold his second novel, The Tenth Justice, while in law school.[10] 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.[20] Over the years, every single one of Meltzer's thrillers has made the New York Times bestseller list and the Hollywood Reporter has even listed him as one of Hollywood's Most Powerful Authors.[21]

While Meltzer was conducting research for his 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.[22]

In 2015, in researching his novel The President's Shadow, Meltzer revealed that while Ronald Reagan was President, he sometimes carried a gun with him. This was confirmed by a Secret Service agent.[23][24][25]

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.[26]


In May 2010, Meltzer released his first nonfiction book, Heroes For My Son, a book he had worked on for almost a decade, since the night his first son was born.[27]

The book is part of a two-book deal with Meltzer's publisher, and stated in a May 2010 interview that he was working on Heroes for My Daughter.[28] 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.[29]

Heroes for My Daughter also made the New York Times bestseller list.[30]

In January 2014, Meltzer and artist Chris Eliopoulous launched a brand new line of non-fiction biographies for kids, starting with I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln, which debuted on the New York Times bestseller list.[26][31]

He followed those up with the successful I Am Rosa Parks, I Am Albert Einstein, I Am Jackie Robinson, I Am Lucille Ball, and I Am Helen Keller.[26]

Comic Books[edit]

Meltzer became one of the first novelists to make the jump into comics, following director Kevin Smith's run on DC Comics' Green Arrow and creating a six-issue story arc for DC Comics' Green Arrow #16-21 (October 2002 - April 2003). In 2004 he wrote the miniseries Identity Crisis,[32] which became one of the most controversial storylines of the decade,[33] one of the top selling books of the last decade, and also one of the most popular.[34] It regularly makes the list of DC Comics's "best comics," "best moments," and even "best fights," praised by the New York Times and even director Joss Whedon.[35][36][37][38][39][40]

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),[41][42] it was criticized for its use of sexual violence as a plot device, for retconing events in DC continuity that critics and readers felt harmed the characterization of long-standing DC heroes,[43][44] and for influencing similar subsequent comics.[45]

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.[46]

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.[47] 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 star 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 - who portray themselves - act 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.[46]

Meltzer and artist Bryan Hitch collaborated on a retelling of Batman's first appearance for Detective Comics vol. 2 #27 in January 2014.[48]


In addition to his novels, he was the co-creator of the television series Jack & Bobby, which ran for one season (2004–2005) on the WB television network.

Meltzer hosts the History series, Brad Meltzer's Decoded, which premiered December 2, 2010.

Meltzer's newest show on History's H2 network is Brad Meltzer's Lost History, which premiered October 31, 2014. 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.

Personal life[edit]

Meltzer lives in Florida with his wife, an attorney.[10] He has two sons and a daughter.[28]



 #  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 2005 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

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


 #  Title 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 with Keith Ferrell 2013 978-0761177456

Comic books[edit]

 #  Title Illustrator(s) Collected Material Publication Date ISBN
1 Green Arrow: The Archer's Quest Phil Hester and Ande Parks Green Arrow vol. 3 #16-21 2002 978-1401200107
2 Identity Crisis Rags Morales and Michael Bair Identity Crisis #1-7 2005 978-1401206888
3 Justice League of America Vol. 1: The Tornado's Path Ed Benes Justice League of America vol. 2 #1-7 2007 978-1401213497
4 Justice League of America Vol. 2: The Lightning Saga with Geoff Johns Ed Benes Justice League of America vol. 2 #0, 8-12 2008 978-1401216528
5 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight Vol. 4 with Joss Whedon Georges Jeanty Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight #31-40 2013 978-1616551278


  1. ^ a b "Official Eisner Awards wrap-up". Comic Book Resources. July 31, 2008. Archived from the original on May 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ Winick, Judd (2000). Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss and What I Learned. Henry Holt and Company. p. 17. ISBN 0-8050-6403-6. 
  3. ^ "Alumni". Columbia Law School. 2012. Archived from the original on June 22, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  4. ^ "New York Times October 1, 2006 Hardcover Fiction Best Seller List". New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  5. ^ "New York Times December 8, 2013 Hardcover Non-Fiction Best Seller List". New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  6. ^ "New York Times June 6, 2010 Hardcover Advice & Misc. Best Seller List". New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  7. ^ "New York Times February 2, 2014 Children's Picture Books Best Seller List". New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  8. ^ "New York Times April 29, 2012 Advice, How-To And Misc. Best Seller List". New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  9. ^ Rogers, Patrick (June 15, 2015). "The Author of DC’s Best Thrillers Lives in Florida". The Washingtonian. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c "Brad Meltzer: Everything You Always Wanted to Know". 2012. Archived from the original on August 19, 2013. 
  11. ^ Mintz, John (June 18, 2004). "Homeland Security Employs Imagination". The Washington Post. p. A27. Archived from the original on October 11, 2014. 
  12. ^ "TEDxMIA - Brad Meltzer - How To Write Your Own Obituary". YouTube. TEDx Talks. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  13. ^ "Write your story, change history - Brad Meltzer". TEDEd. TEDEd. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  14. ^ "Former Governor Jeb Bush Celebrates a Decade of Reading and Family Literacy Success Stories" (PDF). Celebration of Reading 2010. Florida Family Literacy Initiative. Retrieved January 11, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Literacy Legacy Winter Newsletter" (PDF). Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County. Retrieved January 11, 2014. 
  16. ^ "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 
  17. ^ Gustines, George Gene. "History Channel Host Helps His Teacher Find a Kidney". The Well. New York Times. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "Best-selling author helps his high school teacher find kidney donor". CBS This Morning. CBS. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  19. ^ BREZNICAN, ANTHONY. "Author Brad Meltzer brings 'Star Wars' to baseball on Force Friday". EW. Entertainment Weekly. 
  20. ^ Sullivan, J. Courtney (January 23, 2009). "See the Web Site, Buy the Book". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 11, 2014. 
  21. ^ Lewis, Andy. "Hollywood's 25 Most Powerful Authors". The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 November 2015. 
  22. ^ Stephanopoulos, George (January 11, 2011). "Exclusive – Bush’s Oval Office Letter to Clinton: 'There Will Be Difficult Times…I Am Rooting Hard For You'". ABC News. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. 
  23. ^ Neff, Blake (June 15, 2015). "Biographer Confirms That Reagan Carried A Concealed Handgun". Daily Caller. Archived from the original on June 16, 2015. The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Craig Shirley, a notable Reagan biographer, who said that Meltzer’s claim is completely true and independently confirmed by his own research. 
  24. ^ Richter, Greg. "Author Meltzer: Reagan Carried Gun While President". Newsmax. Newsmax. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  25. ^ Hawkins, Awr. "RONALD REAGAN ‘CARRIED HIS OWN GUN’ WHILE PRESIDENT". Breitbart. Breitbart. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  26. ^ a b c Russell, Anna (July 2, 2015). "Brad Meltzer Adds Biographies to Bloodletting Sagas". Wall Street Journal (Wall Street Journal). Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  27. ^ Boucher, Geoff (June 5, 2010). "Brad Meltzer makes hard choices in Heroes for My Son". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 3, 2014. 
  28. ^ a b "In Heroes From The Past, Lessons For A Son". NPR. May 11, 2010. Archived from the original on June 20, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Best Sellers Hardcover Advice & Misc.". The New York Times. May 30, 2010. Archived from the original on November 14, 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 
  30. ^ "New York Times April 29, 2012 Advice, How-To And Misc. Best Seller List". New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  31. ^ "New York Times February 2, 2014 Children's Picture Books Best Seller List". New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  32. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "2000s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. 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. 
  33. ^ Serafino, Jason (June 11, 2012). "The 10 Most Controversial Comic Book Stories of All Time". Complex. Archived from the original on August 19, 2012. 
  34. ^ Ching, Albert (September 12, 2011). "The 10 Bestselling Comic Book Issues of the Past Decade". Newsarama. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  35. ^ Serafino, Jason (August 22, 2011). "The 25 Best DC Comics Of All Time". Complex Magazine (Complex Magazine). Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  36. ^ "The 75 Most Memorable Moments in DC Comics History". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  37. ^ "TOP 25 BEST MOMENTS OF THE (OLD) DC UNIVERSE". IGN. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  38. ^ McCown, Alex; PenzeyMoog, Caitlin (July 22, 2015). "Starter stories: 5 comic-book store employees tell newbies where to begin". The Onion AV Club. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  39. ^ "DC Comics Listing For Identity Crisis". DC Comics. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  40. ^ "Joss Whedon writes introduction for DC's "Identity Crisis" Collection". Whedonesque. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  41. ^ "Identity Crisis Reviews". Comic Book Roundup. 2014. Archived from the original on September 24, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  42. ^ Hudson, Laura (December 17, 2009). "15 Worst Comics of the Decade". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on September 24, 2014. 
  43. ^ Darius, Julian. "In Defense of Sue Dibny's Rape". Sequart. Archived from the original on September 24, 2014. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
  44. ^ Burgas, Greg (June 1, 2006). "Breaking down "Event" comics, Part One: Identity Crisis #1-7; or, why you should always stop one issue short of your goal!". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on September 24, 2014. 
  45. ^ Wilson, Matt D. (June 12, 2013). "Is DC Comics Backing Away From Identity Crisis?". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on September 24, 2014. 
  46. ^ a b Brad Meltzer at the Grand Comics Database
  47. ^ 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."
  48. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (January 6, 2014). "Brad Meltzer Honors, Modernizes Batman's First Appearance in Detective Comics #27". Newsarama. Archived from the original on May 20, 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. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Kevin Smith
Green Arrow writer
Succeeded by
Judd Winick
Preceded by
Bob Harras
Justice League of America writer
Succeeded by
Dwayne McDuffie
Preceded by
Joss Whedon
Buffy Season 8 writer
Succeeded by
Joss Whedon