Walter Isaacson is a bestselling author, acclaimed historian and journalist, and a Professor of History at Tulane University. He is the former president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, where he is now a distinguished fellow, and he also served as chairman and CEO of CNN and a managing editor at Time magazine. An accomplished biographer, Isaacson has written acclaimed books on Leonardo da Vinci, Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Henry Kissinger. He is also the co-author of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. In partnership with Dell Technologies, he hosts a podcast called Trailblazers that explores stories of digital disruption. Isaacson is also a co-host of Amanpour & Company on PBS and CNN.
Isaacson’s definitive biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was published in 2011, becoming a New York Times bestseller and serving as the inspiration for the movie Steve Jobs, starring Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, and Jeff Daniels. Based on more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs conducted over two years, Isaacson’s riveting account tells the story of a roller-coaster life and an intense, creative personality whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. His most recent book, the #1 New York Times bestseller Leonardo da Vinci, recounts the life of another creative genius and his incredible impact on our world. Based on thousands of pages from da Vinci’s own notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Isaacson has constructed an intimate narrative and shows how da Vinci’s genius was based on skills we can all improve upon, including passionate curiosity, careful observation, and insatiable imagination.
In 2014, Isaacson was selected by the National Endowment for the Humanities to deliver their Jefferson Lecture, the government’s highest honor for achievement in the humanities. He has also been named as one of the Time 100, the magazine’s list of the most influential people in the world, and received the 2012 Gerald Loeb Award for his book, Steve Jobs. He lives in New Orleans.
As always, [Isaacson] writes with a strongly synthesizing intelligence across a tremendous range; the result is a valuable introduction to a complex subject… Beneath its diligent research, the book is a study in creativity: how to define it, how to achieve it… Most important, Isaacson tells a powerful story of an exhilarating mind and life.”
— The New Yorker
To read this magnificent biography of Leonardo da Vinci is to take a tour through the life and works of one of the most extraordinary human beings of all time and in the company of the most engaging, informed, and insightful guide imaginable. Walter Isaacson is at once a true scholar and a spellbinding writer. And what a wealth of lessons there are to be learned in these pages.”
— David McCullough, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Wright Brothers and 1776
I’ve read a lot about Leonardo over the years, but I had never found one book that satisfactorily covered all the different facets of his life and work. Walter—a talented journalist and author I’ve gotten to know over the years—did a great job pulling it all together. . . . More than any other Leonardo book I’ve read, this one helps you see him as a complete human being and understand just how special he was.”
— Bill Gates
The pleasure of an Isaacson biography is that it doesn’t traffic in such cynical stuff; the author tells stories of people who, by definition, are inimitable….Isaacson is at his finest when he analyzes what made Leonardo human.”
— The New York Times
He comes to life in all his remarkable brilliance and oddity in Walter Isaacson’s ambitious new biography . . . a vigorous, insightful portrait of the world’s most famous portraitist…Isaacson’s purpose is a thorough synthesis, which he achieves with flair.”
— The Washington Post