Michael Lewis

For other people with the same name, see Michael Lewis (disambiguation).
Michael Lewis

Lewis in 2009
Born Michael Monroe Lewis[1]
(1960-10-15) October 15, 1960[2]
New Orleans, Louisiana
Occupation Non-fiction writer, journalist
Alma mater Isidore Newman School
Princeton University
London School of Economics
Period 1989–present
Notable works Liar's Poker (1989)
Moneyball (2003)
The Blind Side (2006)
The Big Short (2010)
Flash Boys (2014)
Spouse Diane de Cordova Lewis (m. 1985; divorced)[1]
Kate Bohner (m.1994–1995/6)[3]

Tabitha Soren (m. 1997–present)

Michael Monroe Lewis (born October 15, 1960) is an American non-fiction author and financial journalist. His bestselling books include Liar's Poker (1989), The New New Thing (2000), Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (2003), The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game (2006), Panic (2008), Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood (2009), The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (2010), and Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World (2011). He has also been a contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 2009. Flash Boys, which looked at the high-frequency trading sector of Wall Street, was released in 2014.[4] His most recent book is called The Undoing Project.

Early life

Lewis was born in New Orleans to corporate lawyer J. Thomas Lewis and community activist Diana Monroe Lewis. He attended the college preparatory Isidore Newman School in New Orleans. He then attended Princeton University where he received a BA degree (cum laude)[1] in Art History in 1982 and was a member of the Ivy Club.

He went on to work with New York art dealer Daniel Wildenstein. He enrolled in the London School of Economics, and received his MA degree in Economics in 1985.[5][6] Lewis was hired by Salomon Brothers and moved to New York for their training program. He worked at its London office as a bond salesman. He resigned to write Liar's Poker and become a financial journalist.


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, in which he investigated the success of Billy Beane and the Oakland A's. In August 2007, he wrote an article about catastrophe bonds entitled "In Nature's Casino" that appeared in The New York Times Magazine.[7]

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,[8] 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.[9][10]

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.[11][12]

Flash Boys, about high-speed trading in stock and other markets, was launched in March 2014.[13]


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."[14] A New York Times piece said that "[n]o 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.[15]

Lewis's 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),[16] now serving as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair, denied the theme of Lewis's book, stating that "The markets are not rigged."[17] 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.[18]

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's characterization of Major League Baseball in his 2003 book Moneyball. 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."[19]

Lewis has also 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.[20]

In 2013, in Vanity Fair, Lewis wrote on the injustice of the prosecution of ex-Goldman Sachs programmer Sergey Aleynikov,[21] who is given an entire chapter in Flash Boys.[22]

Personal life

Lewis has been married three times. He was married to Diane de Cordova Lewis and then to former CNBC correspondent Kate Bohner. He married former MTV reporter Tabitha Soren on October 4, 1997. He and Soren have two daughters and one son: Quinn Tallulah, Dixie Lee, and Walker Jack. They reside in Berkeley, California.[23][24] Lewis is an atheist.[25][26]


All books published by W. W. Norton & Company, New York, unless otherwise noted.


  1. 1 2 3 "Diane deCordova Wed at Princeton". The New York Times. December 29, 1985. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  2. 1 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. Cohan, William D. "14: It's a White Man's World". The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Freres & Co. p. 401.
  4. "Michael Lewis author page". Simon & Schuster His most recent book is called "The Undoing Project". Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  5. "Michael Lewis". Greater Talent Network Speakers Bureau. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  6. "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)
  7. Lewis, Michael (2007-08-26). "In Nature's Casino". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  8. "the future just happened". BBC. BBC. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  9. John Koblin (October 7, 2008). "Graydon's Big Get: Raids Portfolio for Michael Lewis". Archived from the original on April 15, 2009.
  10. "Michael Lewis". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on July 11, 2009. Retrieved July 20, 2009.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. http://books.wwnorton.com/books/detail.aspx?ID=4294981104
  14. Ackman, Dan. "Moneyball: The Art Of Winning An Unfair Game". Forbes. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  15. Kakutani, Michiko (14 March 2010). "Investors Who Foresaw the Meltdown". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  16. She Runs S.E.C. He’s a Lawyer. Recusals and Headaches Ensue., The New York Times, February 23, 2015
  17. Lynch, Sarah H. (29 April 2014). "SEC chair to Congress: 'The markets are not rigged'". Reuters. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  18. Alden, William (5 June 2014). "S.E.C. Chief Offers Rules to Govern Fast Trading". New York Times. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  19. Barra, Allen (13 July 2014). "The Many Problems with 'Moneyball'". New York Times. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  20. Lewis, Michael (30 January 2007). "Davos Is for Wimps, Ninnies, Pointless Skeptics: Michael Lewis". Bloomberg News.
  21. http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2013/09/michael-lewis-goldman-sachs-programmer Michael Lewis: Did Goldman Sachs Overstep in Criminally Charging Its Ex-Programmer?
  22. http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/03/18/ex-goldman-programmer-sentenced-to-8-years-for-theft-of-trading-code/?_r=0 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.
  23. Lewis, Michael (October 1, 2010). "Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds". Vanity Fair. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
  24. Hubler, Shawn (August 8, 2001). "What's Next for Michael Lewis?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  25. Lewis, Michael. Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World. W.W. Norton and Company, 2011, hardback, ISBN 978-0-393-08181-7, page 58.
  26. Lewis, Michael (October 1, 2010). "Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds". Vanity Fair. P. 4 of 8.
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