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Scott Berg

Fee Range: $10,000 - $15,000

Pulitzer Prize Winning Biographer

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American LegendsArts/Culture/MusicAuthorHistorySpouse Programs

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Los Angeles, CA

About

Scott Berg

Pulitzer Prize Winning Biographer

A. Scott Berg was born in Connecticut in 1949 and raised in Los Angeles. In 1971 he graduated cum laude from Princeton University, where he majored in English. His senior thesis on Maxwell Perkins—the legendary editor who “discovered” and developed F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, Marjorie Rawlings, Alan Paton, James Jones, and dozens of other important writers—won the Charles William Kennedy Prize. Berg spent the next seven years expanding that thesis into Max Perkins: Editor of Genius (1979), which became a national bestseller and won the National Book Award. 

Shortly after its publication, Mr. Berg was approached by Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., who offered him exclusive and unrestricted access to his father’s personal and business papers. With the assistance of a Guggenheim Fellowship, he spent eight-and-a-half years researching and writing Goldwyn:  A Biography (1989). More than just the life story of this fascinating film mogul, Goldwyn chronicles the American motion picture industry from its origins to the present. Billy Wilder called it, “the best book about Hollywood I’ve ever read.” It too became a bestseller, both here and abroad, and has been published in Japanese, Spanish, French and Italian editions.

In the early 1990s, Berg began working on the definitive biography of one of the most legendary, controversial and enigmatic figures in recent American history: Charles Lindbergh. With a sterling reputation for entering the biography process as a blank slate, Berg became the first and only writer to be given unrestricted access to the massive Lindbergh archives – more than two thousand boxes of personal papers, including reams of unpublished letters and diaries – and to be allowed freely to interview Lindbergh’s friends, colleagues, and family members, including his children and his widow, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The result, Lindbergh (1998), is a brilliant biography that clarifies a life long blurred by myth and half-truth. 

Shortly after receiving the Pulitzer Prize for Lindbergh, Berg decided the time was right to start weaving the twenty years of material he had gathered about Katharine Hepburn into a book (the two had met and become friends in 1983 when Berg interviewed her for a magazine).  He wrote KATE REMEMBERED between 1999 and 2001; and G.P. Putnam’s Sons agreed to his dictate that it could not be published— indeed, even discussed—until Miss Hepburn’s death. In the last few weeks of her life, he wrote the final paragraphs, which he describes as “the hardest I’ve ever had to write.” 

Currently, Berg is hard at work on an exhaustive biography on the life and presidency of Woodrow Wilson.

Mr. Berg has lectured extensively across this country and Great Britain. He is a member of the Author’s Guild, the Writer’s Guild of America, PEN Center USA West, and the Century Association. He lives in Los Angeles.

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