David Elliot Grann (born March 10, 1967) is an American journalist, a staff writer for ''The New Yorker'' magazine, and a best-selling author. His first book, ''The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon,'' was published by Doubleday in February 2009. After its first week of publication, it debuted on ''The New York Times'' bestseller list at #4. Grann's articles have been collected in several anthologies, including ''What We Saw: The Events of September 11, 2001'', ''The Best American Crime Writing'' of 2004 and 2005, and ''The Best American Sports Writing'' of 2003 and 2006. He has written for ''The New York Times Magazine'', ''The Atlantic'', ''The Washington Post,'' ''The Wall Street Journal'', and ''The Weekly Standard''. According to a profile in ''Slate'', Grann has a reputation as a "workhorse reporter", which has made him a popular journalist who "inspires a devotion in readers that can border on the obsessive."

Early life

Grann was born on March 10, 1967 to Phyllis E. Grann and Victor Grann. Phyllis is the former CEO of Putnam Penguin and the first woman CEO of a major publishing firm. His father Victor is an oncologist and Director of the Bennett Cancer Center in Stamford, Connecticut. Grann has two siblings—Edward and Alison.


Grann graduated from Connecticut College in 1989 with a B.A. in Government."Contributors: David Grann."
''The New Yorker''. No date. Accessed May 26, 2009.
He received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and conducted research in Mexico, where he began his career as a freelance journalist. He received a master's degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in 1993.Potts, Rolf and Grann, David. "David Grann." RolfPotts.com. March 2009.
Accessed May 26, 2009.
At that point primarily interested in fiction, Grann hoped to develop a career as a novelist."David Grann on murder, madness and writing for ''The New Yorker''"
by Andrea Pitzer, Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, April 5, 2010
His journalism career began after he was hired in 1994 as a copy editor at ''The Hill'', a Washington, D.C.-based newspaper covering the United States Congress. The same year, he earned a master's degree in creative writing from Boston University, where he taught courses in creative writing and fiction. He was named ''The Hill's'' executive editor in 1995. In 1996, Grann became a senior editor at ''The New Republic''. He joined ''The New Yorker'' in 2003 as a staff writer. He was a finalist for the Michael Kelly Award in 2005. In 2009 he received both the George Polk Award and Sigma Delta Chi Award for his ''New Yorker'' piece "Trial By Fire", about Cameron Todd Willingham. Another ''New Yorker'' investigative article, "The Mark of a Masterpiece", raised questions about the methods of Peter Paul Biro who claimed to use fingerprints to help authenticate lost masterpieces. Biro sued Grann and ''The New Yorker'' for libel,"Forensic Art Expert Sues ''New Yorker'' – Author Wants $2 million for defamation over David Grann piece"
by Dylan Byers, ''Adweek'', June 30, 2011
but the case was summarily dismissed."Art Authenticator Loses Defamation Suit Against the New Yorker
by Albert Samaha, ''Village Voice'' blog, August 5, 2013
The article was a finalist for the 2010 National Magazine Award.

''The Lost City of Z''

Grann's 2009 non-fiction book ''The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon'' recounts the odyssey of the notable British explorer, Captain Percy Fawcett who, in 1925, disappeared with his son in the Amazon while looking for the Lost City of Z. For decades, explorers and scientists have tried to find evidence of both his party and the Lost City of Z. Grann also trekked into the Amazon. In his book, he reveals new evidence about how Fawcett died and shows that "Z" may have existed. The book was optioned by Brad Pitt's Plan B production company and Paramount Pictures. It was adapted into a feature film of the same name and released in the US in 2017.

Other books

An anthology of twelve previously published Grann essays, ''The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession'', was published in March 2010. In March 2014, Grann said he was working on a new book about the Osage Indian murders, "one of the most sinister crimes in American history." His book ''Killers of the Flower Moon: An American Crime and the Birth of the FBI'' was published in 2017, chronicling "a tale of murder, betrayal, heroism and a nation's struggle to leave its frontier culture behind and enter the modern world." It was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award. The book was acquired for film adaptation by Martin Scorsese in 2017 for possible production in 2020.

Personal life

In 2000 Grann married Kyra Darnton, a television producer and daughter of John Darnton. He has curated the George Polk Awards. The couple has two children. As of 2009 they resided in New York City.


* Thomas J. Watson Fellowship (1989) * Michael Kelly award, finalist (2005) * George Polk Awards (2009) * Samuel Johnson Prize, shortlist (2009) * National Magazine Awards, finalist (2010) * National Book Award, finalist (2017)



* * * * Based on the ''New Yorker'' article of the same name.

Essays and reporting

"The Selling of the Scandal"
''The New Republic'', September 28, 1998.
"The Stasi and the Swan
– The last spy story of the cold war." ''The New Republic'', April 19, 1999.
"Crimetown USA
– The city that fell in love with the mob.", ''The New Republic'', July 10, 2000.

''The Atlantic Monthly'', June 2001.
"Which Way Did He Run?"
''The New York Times Magazine'', January 13, 2002.
"Baseball Without Metaphor"
''The New York Times Magazine'', September 1, 2002.
"The Old Man and the Gun
Forrest Tucker had a long career robbing banks, and he wasn't willing to retire", ''The New Yorker'', January 27, 2003.
"The Price of Power"
''The New York Times Magazine'', May 11, 2003.
"City of Water
– Can an intricate and antiquated maze of tunnels continue to sustain New York?", ''The New Yorker'', September 1, 2003.
"The Brand
– How the Aryan Brotherhood became the most murderous prison gang in America", ''The New Yorker'', February 16, 2004.
"The Squid Hunter
– Can Steve O'Shea capture the sea's most elusive creature", ''The New Yorker'', May 24, 2004.
"Inside Dope
– Mark Halperin and the transformation of the Washington establishment", ''The New Yorker'', October 25, 2004.
"Mysterious Circumstances
– The strange death of a Sherlock Holmes fanatic", ''The New Yorker'', December 13, 2004.
"Stealing Time
– What makes Rickey Henderson run?", ''The New Yorker'', September 12, 2005.
"The Lost City of Z
– A quest to uncover the secrets of the Amazon", ''The New Yorker'' September 19, 2005.
"True Crime
– A postmodern murder mystery", ''The New Yorker'', February 11, 2008.
"The Chameleon
– The many lives of Frédéric Bourdin", ''The New Yorker'', August 11, 2008.
"The Fall
– John McCain's choices", ''The New Yorker'', November 17, 2008. * "Trial by Fire – Did Texas execute an innocent man?", ''The New Yorker'', September 7, 2009. * "The Mark of a Masterpiece" – The man who keeps finding famous fingerprints on uncelebrated works of art, ''The New Yorker'', July 12 & 19, 2010. *
"The Yankee Comandante
– A story of love, revolution, and betrayal", ''The New Yorker'', May 28, 2012.
"The Marked Woman
– How an Osage Indian family became the prime target of one of the most sinister crimes in American history", ''The New Yorker'', March 1, 2017. *


External links

David Grann
official website
Articles by David Grann
at ''The New Yorker'' * {{DEFAULTSORT:Grann, David Category:1967 births Category:Living people Category:Place of birth missing (living people) Category:American male journalists Category:American non-fiction writers Category:Connecticut College alumni Category:The New Yorker staff writers Category:Journalists from New York City Category:Anthony Award winners