S. C. Gwynne

Pulitzer Prize Finalist and a New York Times Best-Selling Author

S. C. Gwynne

S. C. Gwynne has spent most of the last fourteen years writing 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, the University of Texas, 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 a canoe trip down the Pecos River in Texas, and a 2012 piece about Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific, where the Americans tested atomic weapons, and where Bikinians are now trying to return.

Prior to joining Texas Monthly, Sam worked for Time Magazine for 12 years as Correspondent, Bureau Chief, National Correspondent and Senior Editor. He wrote some 200 stories for Time, including 6 cover stories. He traveled throughout the United States, and to England, Austria, France, Belgium, Spain, and Russia to report stories. He won a number of awards for his work at Time, 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, Dallas Morning News, Harper’s, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, California Magazine, The Boston Globe and many other publications. He is the former editor-in-chief of “California Business” magazine, then the nation’s largest regional business magazine. Prior to his career in journalism, Gwynne was a French teacher and an international banker.

He is the author of three books, Selling Money, about his years as an international banker, and The Outlaw Bank about the $20 billion BCCI bank fraud. Outlaw Bank was named one of Business Week Magazine’s Top Ten Books of the year. In May 2010 his book Empire of the Summer Moon was published by Scribner. The book spent four months on the New York Times top 10 Bestseller list. Empire was later a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and won the Texas Book Award and the Oklahoma Book Award.

In 2007-8 he was President of the Board of Directors of Caritas of Austin, one of the city’s leading charities that provides assistance in the form of food, rent and utility payments, and counseling to people in need. He has also taught advanced reporting and feature writing at the University of Texas School of Journalism, with the title of Lecturer.

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 the Lost Creek section of Austin, Texas with his wife Katie, an artist, and his daughter Maisie, an engineering student at the University of Southern California.