Michael Ellsberg

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Michael Ellsberg
Born (1977-05-12) May 12, 1977 (age 41)
San Francisco, California
Occupation Author, Journalist
Genres Nonfiction
Notable works The Education of Millionaires
Spouse Jena la Flamme (?–2014)

Michael Ellsberg (born May 12, 1977) is an American author, blogger, and public speaker.[1][non-primary source needed][2][non-primary source needed] In 2011, he published The Education of Millionaires: It’s Not What You Think and It’s Not Too Late.

Personal life[edit]

Ellsberg was born in San Francisco to Daniel and Patricia Marx Ellsberg;[3][non-primary source needed][4][not in citation given] his maternal grandfather was American toy maker Louis Marx. He grew up in Berkeley, and attended Deerfield Academy.[3][non-primary source needed] He received a degree in International Relations from Brown University in 1999.[5] Ellsberg was married to Jena la Flamme, but the couple divorced in 2014.[6]

Writing career[edit]

Ellsberg has written about the power of body language.[7] His first book, The Power of Eye Contact: Your Secret for Success in Business, Love, and Life, was published in 2010.[8][9] His second book, The Education of Millionaires: It’s Not What You Think and It’s Not Too Late, was published in 2011. For this book, Ellsberg interviewed millionaires and billionaires who do not have college degrees (including Matt Mullenweg, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, Sean Parker, and Marc Ecko). The book was profiled in Time Magazine, who called the book an "assault on higher education", and in the New York Times.[10][11][non-primary source needed]

Ellsberg also writes for Forbes.[12][non-primary source needed]

Other projects[edit]

Ellsberg is credited for inventing "eye-gazing parties," a craze in 2010 where participants stare deeply into each other's eyes and follow up if they feel they made a connection.[13][14][15][16] He is also a book editor and has spoken at Google and Peter Thiel's Fellow Retreat.[2][non-primary source needed][14][17][18][non-primary source needed]

Ellsberg has written about men's role in the #MeToo movement. He claims to have "been that guy" before,[19] and encourages men to reflect on examples of boorish sexual behavior, such as the viral Cat Person story, which is written from the perspective of a twenty-year-old woman who goes on a date with a much older man and ends up having an unpleasant sexual experience that was consensual but unwanted. Ellsberg has asked men to pledge to get a verbal or nonverbal yes before initiating any sexual encounter, and to slow down if there's ever doubt the other person wants to continue.[20][21]


  • Ellsberg, Michael (2010). The Power of Eye Contact: Your Secret for Success in Business, Love, and Life. Harper Paperbacks. p. 272. ISBN 0-06-178221-1. 
  • Ellsberg, Michael (2011). The Education of Millionaires: It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late. Portfolio Hardcover. p. 272. ISBN 1-59184-420-7. 


  1. ^ Ellsberg, Michael. How I Overcame Bipolar II (and Saved My Own Life). Forbes. July 18, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Get Rich Investing In Your Own Human Capital. Forbes. October 21, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Who Is Michael Ellsberg?. Ellsberg.com.
  4. ^ Abraham, Yvonne. McNamara offers another view of Vietnam Cites missed opportunities that hold lessons on Balkans. Boston Globe. April 24, 1999.
  5. ^ Palmer, Kimberly. The Unorthodox Success Strategies of Millionaires. U.S. News & World Report. October 12, 2011.
  6. ^ Seligson, Hannah (2014-12-26). "Facebook's Last Taboo: The Unhappy Marriage". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-03. 
  7. ^ "The 1 Body Language Habit That Made Steve Jobs Really Successful". Inc.com. 2017-08-08. Retrieved 2018-03-03. 
  8. ^ Power of Eye Contact Official Website
  9. ^ The Power of Eye Contact. Fox News. July 13, 2010.
  10. ^ Gregorian, Vartan. The Myth of the Millionaire College Dropout. Time Magazine. October 21, 2011.
  11. ^ Ellsberg, Michael. Will Dropouts Save America?. The New York Times. October 22, 2011.
  12. ^ Michael Ellsberg: Need to Know. Forbes.
  13. ^ Bonos, Lisa. Dating in D.C. can be difficult; 'eye-gazing parties' seek to help singles. Washington Post. April 18, 2010.
  14. ^ a b Pace, Gina. The Eyes Have It. CBS. November 2, 2010. "Eye gazing is the brainchild of Michael Ellsberg, who edits book manuscripts and lives in New York."
  15. ^ Stareway to Heaven. Nerve.com. May 14, 2006.
  16. ^ Morgan, Richard. Eyes Only for Each Other, at Least for the Next Three Minutes. The New York Times. October 11, 2005.
  17. ^ Is Freelancing Right For You?. Harvard Business Review. "Ellsberg realized he knew enough people (and enough people knew him) to be able to sell himself as a book-proposal writing coach...He charges by the project for books, and his hourly rate for marketing is $200."
  18. ^ How to Network Your Way to World-Class Mentors: The Thiel Fellowship Lecture, Part 1. Forbes. August 31, 2011.
  19. ^ Williams, Alex (2018-03-01). ""I've been that guy, more than once"". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2018-03-03. 
  20. ^ Ellsberg, Michael (2017-10-24). "Perspective | Women's #MeToo posts reminded me I had been that awful guy. Here's how I changed". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-02-28. 
  21. ^ Williams, Alex (2018-02-27). "The Man Behind the 'Consent Pledge'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-28. 

External links[edit]