Rebecca Skloot

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Rebecca Skloot
Rebecca skloot 2010.jpg
Rebecca Skloot at the 2010 Texas Book Festival.
Occupation Science writer

Rebecca L. Skloot /ˈsklt/ (born 19 Sep 1972, Springfield, Illinois) is a freelance science writer who specializes in science and medicine.[1] Her first book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010), was one of the best-selling new books of 2010, staying on the New York Times Bestseller List for over 2 years, eventually reaching #1 [2] and optioned to be made into a movie by Oprah Winfrey.[3]


Rebecca is the daughter of poet, novelist, and essayist Floyd Skloot[1] and Betsy McCarthy, a professional knitter and pattern book author. Skloot said "in the Pacific Northwest, [her] roots [are] half New York Jew and half Midwestern Protestant."[4] She got her high school diploma from Metropolitan Learning Center in Portland, Oregon.[5] After attending Portland Community College and becoming a Veterinary Technician, she received a BS in biological sciences from Colorado State University, and an MFA in creative nonfiction[1] from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a former vice president of the National Book Critics Circle[6] She has taught creative writing and science journalism at the University of Pittsburgh, New York University, and the University of Memphis.[7] She lives in Chicago, Illinois, with her long-time boyfriend, David Prete, an actor, author, and theater director.[8]

Skloot has published over 200 featured stories and essays.[1] Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, O: The Oprah Magazine, Discover, and New York magazine.[6] Skloot is also a contributing editor at Popular Science and has worked as a correspondent for NPR's Radiolab and PBS's NOVA scienceNOW.[1]

Her first book, the #1 New York Times Bestselling The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010), is about Henrietta Lacks and the immortal cell line (known as HeLa) that came from her cancer cells in 1951.[1] It was named a New York Times notable book, and selected as a best book of the year by more than 60 publications. It is being made into an HBO film produced by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball.[9]

Her second book, exploring the science and ethics of human-animal relationships, is under contract with Crown Publishing Group.[10]

Skloot is an atheist.[11]


Rebecca Skloot talks at the University of Missouri in March 2014.




Select articles


  1. ^ a b c d e f Jessica Teisch, "Floyd Skloot & Rebecca Skloot", in Bookmarks magazine, May/June 2010.
  2. ^ "..eventually reaching #1" -- see [1] list for this stat, more recent stats are available. Last accessed January 2011.
  3. ^ "Oprah and Alan Ball to Make Film of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks for HBO", May 12, 2010.
  4. ^ "The Making of a Bestseller: Rebecca Skloot and a Great Obsession". Politics Daily Author=LUISITA LOPEZ TORREGROSA. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  5. ^ [2] Portland Public Schools
  6. ^ a b "Official Website: Bio". Being Wicked. Retrieved 17 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "Rebecca Skloot profile". University of Memphis: Department of English. Retrieved 17 March 2010. 
  8. ^ David Prete official website
  9. ^ Oprah and Alan Ball to Make Film of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, May 12, 2010
  10. ^ New Skloot Book Announcement October 13, 2011
  11. ^ In 'The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,' writer Rebecca Skloot shows us science's unsuspecting benefactor

External links[edit]