- This page is about the non-fiction author. For the comic book writer, see Erik Larsen; for the Disney animator, see Eric Larson.
(born January 3, 1954) is an American author. He has written Isaac's Storm
(1999), about the experiences of Isaac Cline during the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
(2003), about the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago and a series of murders by H. H. Holmes that were committed in the city around the time of the Fair, and Thunderstruck
, which intersperses the story of Hawley Harvey Crippen with the story of Guglielmo Marconi and the invention of radio. The Devil in the White City
won the 2004 Edgar Award in the Best Fact Crime category.
He is a former features writer for The Wall Street Journal
magazine, where he is still a contributing writer. His magazine stories have appeared in The New Yorker
, The Atlantic Monthly
, and other publications. He is the author of two previous books, Lethal Passage: The Story of a Gun
(1994) and The Naked Consumer: How Our Private Lives Become Public Commodities
Larson grew up in Freeport, Long Island. In the years since his departure from Long Island, he has lived in Bristol, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, San Francisco (twice), Baltimore (twice), and, finally, Seattle.
He studied Russian history at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated summa cum laude
in 1976. After a year off, he attended the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, graduating in 1978. His first newspaper job was with The Bucks County Courier Times
in Levittown, Pennsylvania, where he wrote about murder, witches, environmental poisons, and other "equally pleasant" things.
Larson has taught non-fiction writing at San Francisco State, the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, and the University of Oregon, and has spoken to audiences from coast to coast. He lives in Seattle with his wife, three daughters, and assorted pets.