Michael Lewis

Michael Monroe Lewis (born October 15, 1960)[1][2] is an American financial journalist and bestselling non-fiction author.[3] He has also been a contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 2009.

Michael Lewis
Lewis in 2009
BornMichael Monroe Lewis
(1960-10-15) October 15, 1960
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
OccupationNon-fiction writer, journalist
ResidenceBerkeley, California, U.S.
Alma mater
Notable works
Diane de Cordova Lewis (m. 1985)
Kate Bohner (m. 1994)
Tabitha Soren (m. 1997)

As of May 2019, Lewis has published 18 books, three of which—Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (2003), The Blind Side (2006) and The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (2010)—have been adapted into feature films.

Early life

Lewis was born in New Orleans, the son of corporate lawyer J. Thomas Lewis and community activist Diana Monroe Lewis.[4] He went to Isidore Newman School. He attended Princeton University, where he earned a cum laude bachelor's degree in art history in 1982 and was a member of the Ivy Club.[1] He worked with New York City art dealer Daniel Wildenstein for a short while. In an interview with Charlie Rose, Lewis shared that his initial ambition was to become an art historian, but he was quickly dissuaded once he realized that there were no jobs available for art historians, and even the handful would not pay much.[5]

Lewis subsequently enrolled at the London School of Economics and received an MA in economics in 1985.[6][7] Lewis was hired by Salomon Brothers, stayed for a while in New York for their training program, and then relocated to London where he worked at Salomon's London office as a bond salesman for a few years.[8]


Lewis described his experiences at Salomon and the evolution of the mortgage-backed bond in Liar's Poker (1989). In The New New Thing (1999), he investigated the then-booming Silicon Valley and discussed obsession with innovation. Four years later, Lewis wrote Moneyball (2003), in which he investigated the success of Billy Beane and the Oakland A's. In August 2007, he wrote an article about catastrophe bonds, titled "In Nature's Casino", that appeared in The New York Times Magazine.[9]

Lewis has worked for The Spectator,[2] The New York Times Magazine, as a columnist for Bloomberg, as a senior editor and campaign correspondent to The New Republic,[10] and a visiting fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. He wrote the Dad Again column for Slate. Lewis worked for Conde Nast Portfolio but in February 2009 left to join Vanity Fair, where he became a contributing editor.[11][12]

In September 2011, after the successful release of the film adaptation of his book Moneyball, it was reported that Lewis planned to take on "a much more active role in the what could be the next film based on one of his books" and would start writing a script for a Liar's Poker film.[13][14]

In 2013, in Vanity Fair, Lewis wrote on the injustice of the prosecution of ex-Goldman Sachs programmer Sergey Aleynikov,[15] who is given an entire chapter in Flash Boys.[16] Flash Boys, which looked at high-frequency trading of Wall Street and other markets, was released in March 2014.[17]

In 2017, Lewis wrote a series of articles for Vanity Fair in which he described the Trump administration's approach to various federal agencies, including the Department of Energy and the Department of Agriculture. His articles described a sense of incredulity and disillusionment from career civil servants, particularly because of the lack of attention from the Trump administration over the importance of some of their work, and the lack of care, knowledge, experience, and respect from Trump political appointees.[18]

In 2018, Lewis wrote and narrated, The Coming Storm for Audible Studios, which released the short non-fiction story as part of their new Audible Originals series of audio books.[19]

Broadcasting and podcasts

His podcast, Against the Rules, aired April 2, 2019[20]


A best-selling author, Lewis has drawn both supporters and vocal detractors. In a review of Moneyball, Dan Ackman of Forbes said that Lewis had a special talent: "He can walk into an area already mined by hundreds of writers and find gems there all along but somehow missed by his predecessors".[21] A New York Times piece said that "no one writes with more narrative panache about money and finance than Mr. Lewis", praising his ability to use his subject's stories to show the problems with the systems around them.[22]

Lewis has been criticized for writing a 2007 article in Bloomberg criticizing economists at the World Economic Forum for expressing views on how the world wasn't pricing risk appropriately.[23]

Critics from outside the financial industry have also criticized Lewis for what they consider to be inaccuracies in his writing. In a 2011 column in The Atlantic, American journalist and sports author Allen Barra takes issue with Lewis' characterization of Major League Baseball in Lewis' book Moneyball (2003). Barra writes: "From a historical standpoint, Lewis is, well, way off base. By the end of the 20th century baseball had achieved a greater level of competitive balance than at any time in the game's history... Moneyball doesn't just get the state of present-day baseball wrong; it also misrepresents the history of the sport."[24]

Lewis' Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt ignited a new round of controversy surrounding high-frequency trading. At a House Financial Services Committee hearing in April 2014, Mary Jo White, former Wall Street insider (as a Debevoise & Plimpton litigations lawyer primarily for Wall Street financial firms),[25] who later served as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair, denied the theme of Lewis' book, stating: "The markets are not rigged".[26] One month later, in June 2014, White announced that the SEC would undergo a new round of regulatory review in response to concerns about dark pools and market structure.[27]

Lewis' The Undoing Project was widely praised by book critics,[28] with Glenn C. Altschuler arguing in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that it "may well be his best book".[29]

Personal life

Lewis has been married three times. He married his first wife, Diane de Cordova Lewis, in 1985.[1] His second marriage was to former CNBC correspondent Kate Bohner.[30] In October 1997, he married former MTV reporter Tabitha Soren. With Soren, he has two daughters and one son, and resides in Berkeley, California.[31][32] Lewis is an atheist.[33]


  • 2008 Gerald Loeb Award Honorable Mention for Magazines for "In Nature's Casino"[34]
  • 2009 Gerald Loeb Award for Feature Writing for "The End"[35]
  • 2010 Gerald Loeb Award for Feature Writing for "Wall Street on the Tundra"[36]


See also


  1. "Diane deCordova Wed at Princeton". The New York Times. December 29, 1985. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  2. "Michael Lewis". The Writers Directory (fee, via Fairfax County Public Library). Detroit: St. James Press. 2011. GALE|K1649564197. Retrieved 2012-03-04. Gale Biography In Context. (subscription required)
  3. "Michael Lewis author page". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  4. "The Amazing Life Of Wall Street's Favorite Writer, Michael Lewis". Business Insider. June 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  5. Rose, Charlie. "Interview with Michael Lewis". www.charlierose.com. Charlie Rose. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  6. "Michael Lewis". Greater Talent Network Speakers Bureau. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  7. "Michael Lewis". Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale. 2011. GALE|H1000059769. Retrieved 2012-03-04 via Fairfax County Public Library. Gale Biography In Context. (subscription required)
  8. "One on one with Christine Lagarde, featuring Michael Lewis". www.imf.org. IMF (International Monetary Fund). Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  9. Lewis, Michael (2007-08-26). "In Nature's Casino". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  10. "the future just happened". BBC. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  11. John Koblin (October 7, 2008). "Graydon's Big Get: Raids Portfolio for Michael Lewis". Observer. Archived from the original on April 15, 2009.
  12. "Michael Lewis". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on July 11, 2009. Retrieved July 20, 2009.
  13. Lewis, Andy; Matt Belloni (26 September 2011). "'Moneyball' Author Michael Lewis to Script 'Liar's Poker' for Warner Bros. (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  14. Ross, Scott (30 May 2012). "Michael Lewis' "Liar's Poker" Being Turned Into a Film by Requa & Ficarra". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  15. Lewis, Michael (September 2013). "Did Goldman Sachs Overstep in Criminally Charging Its Ex-Programmer?". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  16. Azam Ahmed (March 18, 2011). "Former Goldman Programmer Gets 8-year Jail Term for Code Theft". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 5 November 2017. A former Goldman Sachs computer programmer convicted of stealing source code from the firm was sentenced on Friday to more than eight years in prison, capping a case that had shone a rare spotlight on the world of lightning-fast computer-driven trading.
  17. "Flash Boys | W. W. Norton & Company". books.wwnorton.com. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  18. "Michael Lewis: Many Trump Appointees Are Uninterested In The Agencies They Head Up". NPR. 6 November 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  19. Lewis, Michael (2018). The Coming Storm. Audible Studios.
  20. "Against the Rules with Michael Lewis". Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  21. Ackman, Dan. "Moneyball: The Art Of Winning An Unfair Game". Forbes. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  22. Kakutani, Michiko (14 March 2010). "Investors Who Foresaw the Meltdown". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  23. Lewis, Michael (30 January 2007). "Davos Is for Wimps, Ninnies, Pointless Skeptics: Michael Lewis". Bloomberg News.
  24. Barra, Allen (13 July 2014). "The Many Problems with 'Moneyball'". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  25. "She Runs S.E.C. He's a Lawyer. Recusals and Headaches Ensue". The New York Times. 23 February 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  26. Lynch, Sarah H. (29 April 2014). "SEC chair to Congress: 'The markets are not rigged'". Reuters. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  27. Alden, William (5 June 2014). "S.E.C. Chief Offers Rules to Govern Fast Trading". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  28. "Bookmarks reviews of The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis". LitHub. Archived from the original on February 11, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  29. Altschuler, Glenn C. (January 15, 2017). "'The Undoing Project': How two Israeli psychologists changed the world". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  30. Cohan, William D. "14: It's a White Man's World". The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Freres & Co. p. 401.
  31. Lewis, Michael (October 1, 2010). "Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds". Vanity Fair. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
  32. Hubler, Shawn (August 8, 2001). "What's Next for Michael Lewis?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  33. Lewis, Michael (2011). Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World (Hardback ed.). W.W. Norton and Company. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-393-08181-7.
  34. "2008 Gerald Loeb Award Winners Announced by UCLA Anderson School of Management". Fast Company. October 28, 2011. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  35. "Loeb Winners". UCLA Anderson School of Management. June 29, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  36. "More Loeb winners: Fortune and Detroit News". Taklking Biz News. June 29, 2010. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
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