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|Born||February 4, 1950|
After graduating from Harvard University in 1972, Bergreen worked in journalism, academia and broadcasting before publishing his first biography, James Agee: A Life.
Bergreen has written books on historical subjects, such as Voyage to Mars: NASA's Search for Life Beyond Earth, a narrative of NASA's exploration of Mars, and Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe. Bergreen's biography, Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu, is being developed into a feature film starring Matt Damon.
Bergreen has written for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Newsweek and Esquire. He has taught at the New School for Social Research and served as Assistant to the President of the Museum of Television and Radio in New York. In 1995, he served as a judge for the National Book Awards and in 1991 as a judge for the PEN/Albrand Nonfiction Award. A frequent lecturer at major universities and symposiums, and, on occasion, aboard cruise ships, he has served as a Featured Historian for the History Channel.
In 2007, Bergreen was asked by NASA to name some geological features surrounding the Victoria crater on Mars, based on places Ferdinand Magellan visited. In 2008, Bergreen was a keynote speaker at NASA's 50th anniversary event in Washington, D.C.. His most recent work is Columbus: The Four Voyages.
Bergreen's first book was Look Now, Pay Later: The Rise of Network Broadcasting, published in 1980. His biography, James Agee: A Life, was a New York Times “Notable Book” for 1984. As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin, appeared in 1990. It won the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award and the ASCAP-Deems Taylor award; it was also a New York Times “Notable Book” for 1990.
In 1994, he published Capone: The Man and the Era. A Book-of-the-Month Club selection and a New York Times "Notable Book", it has been optioned by Miramax. In 1997, Bergreen published Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life, a biography drawing on unpublished manuscripts and interviews with Armstrong's colleagues and friends. It appeared on the “Best Books of 1997” lists of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Publishers Weekly.
His next work, Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe, was published in October 2003. A New York Times “Notable Book” for 2003, it is also in development as a motion picture.
In October 2007, Bergreen published Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu, a biography of the iconic traveler. Warner Brothers is developing a feature film based on this book starring Matt Damon and written by William Monahan.
Bergreen's most recent book is Columbus: The Four Voyages, a New York Times bestseller. It was a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, BOMC2, the History Book Club, and the Military Book Club, and was a New York Times Book Review “Editors Choice”.
- Look Now, Pay Later: The Rise of Network Broadcasting (1980)
- James Agee: A Life (1984)
- As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin (1990)
- Capone: The Man and the Era (1994)
- Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life (1997)
- Voyage to Mars: NASA's Search for Life Beyond Earth (2000)
- Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe (2003)
- Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu (2007)
- Columbus: The Four Voyages (2011)
As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin
- New York Times Notable Book of 1990
- ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for Excellence in Music Journalism
- Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award, First Place
Capone: The Man and the Era
- New York Times “Notable Books of 1994”
Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life
- Publishers Weekly “Best Books of 1997”
- Booklist “Editor’s Choice 1997”
- San Francisco Chronicle “Best Books of 1997”
- USA Today “Best Books of 1997”
Voyage to Mars: NASA's Search for Life Beyond Earth
- Barnesandnoble.com “Best Science & Nature Books 2000”
Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe
- Barnes & Noble Bestseller
- New York Times “ Notable Book”, 2004
- Nominated for an “Audie” award for best nonfiction book recording (BBC), 2005
Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu
- Outside Magazine's "Greatest Adventure Bios Ever Written" – Ranked #3, November 2009
- Book-of-the-Month Club Featured Selection November 2007
- Military Book Club Featured Selection
- History Book Club Featured Selection
- Booklist Top 10 Biographies of 2007
- "Marco Polo by Laurence Bergreen - Book - eBook - Audiobook". Random House. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- "Warner Bros. plays ‘Polo’". Variety. 2005-05-02. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- "About the Author". Laurencebergreen.com. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- "NASA History Home Page". History.nasa.gov. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- Official website
- Interview with Laurence Bergreen on The Leonard Lopate Show, WNYC
- Interview with Laurence Bergreen on Talk of the Nation on NPR
- Laurence Bergreen at Library of Congress Authorities — with 12 catalog records