S.C. “Sam” Gwynne is the author of two acclaimed books on American history: Empire of the Summer Moon, which spent 82 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the Texas and Oklahoma book prizes; and Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson, which was published in September 2014. It was also a New York Times Bestseller and was named a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pen Literary Award for Biography. His book The Perfect Pass: American Genius and the Reinvention of Football, was published in September 2016, and was named to a number of “top ten” sports book lists.
Sam has written extensively for Texas Monthly, where he was Executive Editor from 2000-2008. His work included cover stories on White House advisor Karl Rove, NASA, the King Ranch, football player Johnny Manziel, and Southwest Airlines. His 2005 story on lethal Houston surgeon Eric Scheffey was published in “The Best American Crime Writing, 2006” by Harper Perennial Press. In 2008 he won the National City and Regional Magazine Award for “Writer of the Year.” He also writes for Outside magazine. His articles include a 2011 story about running the remote Pecos River in Texas, a 2012 piece about Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific, where the Americans tested atomic weapons, and a 2017 profile of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.
Prior to joining Texas Monthly, Sam worked for Time Magazine as Correspondent, Bureau Chief, National Correspondent and Senior Editor. He traveled throughout the United States and to England, Austria, France, Belgium, Spain, and Russia to report stories for Time. He won a number of awards for his Time work, including a National Headliners Award for his work on the Columbine High School shootings. He also won the Gerald Loeb Award, the country’s most prestigious award for business writing, the Jack Anderson Award as the best investigative reporter, and the John Hancock Award for Distinguished Financial Writing. He has also written for the New York Times, Harper’s, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, California Magazine, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, and other publications.
Earlier books were Selling Money, about Sam’s adventures in the international loan trade, and The Outlaw Bank, about the global fraud at Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).
Before his career in journalism, Sam was a French teacher and an international banker.
Sam has a bachelor’s degree in history from Princeton University and a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University, where he studied under the acclaimed novelist John Barth. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, the artist Katie Maratta.the New York Times bestseller Empire of the Summer Moon, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He spent most of his career as a journalist, including stints with Time as bureau chief, national correspondent, and senior editor, and with Texas Monthly as executive editor. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and daughter.
Books by S. C. Gwynne