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About David Fisher
For more than three decades, David Fisher has been writing about an extraordinary variety of subjects, ranging from major league baseball umpires to Nobel Prize winning biochemists. He is the author of more than 80 books, among them 24 New York Times bestsellers, and has been a frequent contributor to major magazines and newspapers. He is the only writer ever to have a work of non-fiction, a novel and a reference book offered simultaneously by the Book-of-the Month Club.
He began his professional career as a staff writer for the late comedienne Joan Rivers’ syndicated talk show, That Show. From there he joined Life Magazine, when it was still published weekly, becoming the youngest reporter in that magazine’s history, covering primarily sports and youth culture.
He began his free-lance writing career with a children’s biography of Malcolm X. A year later he co-authored his first bestseller, Killer (Playboy Books) with ‘Joey Black,’ the first confessional written by a Mafia hit man. After writing a second bestseller with Joey Black, Hit #29, which was purchased by Paramount, as well as two additional books, he wrote the very first book about transcendental meditation, Tranquility Without Pills (Wyden Books). He wrote several others books about the world of crime, including Louie’s Widow. In 1980 John William Clouser, who had been on the FBI’s Most Wanted list longer than any man in history, contacted Fisher and asked him to arrange his surrender. After surrendering on national television, Clouser and Fisher collaborated on The Most Wanted Man in America (Stein and Day).
Fisher began writing about sports in the early 1980’s, co-authoring the two “laugh-out-loud bestsellers” (wrote the Times), The Umpire Strikes Back and Strike Two (Bantam Books) as well as two additional books with legendary umpire Ron Luciano, and former Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda’s bestselling autobiography, The Artful Dodger (Morrow). He also collaborated with Eugene Klein, the man credited with inventing junk bonds to put together one of the nation’s first conglomerates, The National General Corporation, and then tried to apply the lessons learned in business to pro football, in the cautionary tale, First Down and A Billion and with Basketball Hall of Fame member U of Arizona coach Lute Olson on his autobiography Lute! The Seasons of My Life.
Fisher created a new reference system when he wrote and edited, What’s What, A Visual Glossary of the Physical World (Hammond) which Esquire called, “The most important new reference work published in the past half-century,” and which subsequently was published in nine bilingual editions, selling more than 1,000,000 copies.
Fisher’s first novel, The Pack, (Putnam’s) was purchased by Warner Bros. and released as a feature film. His second novel, The War Magician (Coward McCann), based on the true story of magician Jasper Maskelyne, who used the techniques of stage magic against Rommel in the desert and whose classic deceptions were key to victory at El Alamein, was initially optioned by Paramount for Tom Cruise but currently is under option to Academy Award nominee Benedict Cumberbatch, has been published in 12 countries.
Moving from sports to entertainment, Fisher created and co-authored with George Burns the #1 bestsellers, Gracie, A Love Story and All My Best Friends. George Burns had co-authored five books prior to collaborating with Fisher, none of them bestsellers, and one book after their collaboration, which also failed to hit the bestseller list. The audio version of Gracie, which Fisher wrote and directed, was honored in 1990 with a Grammy for Best Spoken Record. Fisher also created and co-authored with Leslie Nielsen The Naked Truth, (Pocket Books) a parody of celebrity autobiographies dedicated “To the motion industry. The only business in the world in which the trailer comes first.” The audio version of that book was also nominated for a Grammy. He also collaborated with legendary TV and feature film producer and documentarian David Wolper, who is responsible for 10 of the top 50 shows in TV history as well as motion pictures like L.A. Confidential and Willy Wonka on the bestseller, Producer (Scribners). And he collaborated with legendary sidekick Ed McMahon on his memoir, For Laughing Out Loud (Warners) and a history of early television, When Television Was Young.
Fisher is the only reporter ever granted complete access to the FBI’s famed crime lab and his book, Hard Evidence, (S&S) has been published in six languages and triggered the explosive worldwide interest in forensic science. His warm and humorous novella, Conversations With My Cat, (Viking) was also published in six languages and after being the #2 bestseller in France, was honored with the ‘Prix Literature de 1,000,000 Amis,’ an award given annually to the best book concerning animals published that year. As Fisher was told by his cat The Bomber, the relationship between cats and humans can be explained simply, “You scratch my back, you scratch my back.”
Fisher’s parody, Chicken Poop for the Soul, Stories to Harden Your Heart, (Pocket Books) has sold more than 125,000 copies and led to a second successful collection of his humorous stories, Chicken Poop II: More Droppings. His humor book which featured classic fairy tales as might be written by lawyers, Legally Correct Fairy Tales, (Warner Books) has also sold more than 100,000 copies. His collaboration with the controversial Nobel Prize winning biochemist Kary Mullis, whose invention of the polymerase chain reaction literally changed the world, Dancing Naked in the Mind Field, (Pantheon) remains in print almost two decades after publication.
His most controversial bestseller, Been There, Done That (St. Martin’s) with Eddie Fisher, received rave reviews from critics and a less kind reception from Eddie Fisher’s former wives. His book Patient Number 1; (Crown) is the incredible story of the CEO of a biotech firm whose own company created the stem cell selection device that saved his life when he was diagnosed with stage 4 Mantle Cell Lymphoma. Later a judge rewrote 103 patent claims, overthrew a jury judgment and put this company out of business, depriving terminally ill patients of this potentially life-saving device. Patient Number 1 currently is in development by producers Janet and Jerry Zucker of Airplane and Ghost fame.
Both of Fisher’s collaborations with Hall of Fame quarterback and broadcaster Terry Bradshaw, It’s Only A Game and the inspirational Keep It Simple, (Pocket Books) were bestsellers, as was his collaboration with legendary attorney Johnny Cochran, A Lawyer’s Life. (St. Martin’s Press)
In the corporate world Fisher created and co-authored United Airlines 75th anniversary book, The Age of Flight as well as Safe Flight’s 60th anniversary book. When the pharmaceutical firm Warner-Lambert was purchased by Pfizer and was about to lose its corporate identity Fisher created the celebratory book, In Good Company. Fisher also wrote Animals Inc., a humorous novel showing how Orwell’s Animal Farm might have been run using the philosophy of the Gallup Organization, one of America’s leading business consulting firms.
Fisher created a new publishing format when he brought together legendary FBI Agent Joseph ‘Donnie Brasco’ Pistone and former Mafia Family head Bill Bonanno for the novel, The Good Guys, which was published by Warner Books in January 2005. In a starred review the influential publication Kirkus Reviews called it “the very model of a high-crime page turner – the kind so often promised and so infrequently delivered.” The New York Post wrote, “Incredibly fun to read. Mario Puzo would be smiling,” and the Times of London called it “A richly entertaining read.” In addition, he has created the computer game, Made Man with a British company which was released in April 2007 -- and Crime Lab, an educational video game.
Fisher has also written extensively for newspapers and magazines. His columns have appeared on the Op Ed page of the New York Times and Newsday, and he has contributed many articles to a variety of magazines, ranging from Sports Illustrated to Car and Driver. An article he wrote for Car and Driver, ‘The Birth of My Car,’ was honored as the best automotive feature writing in 1987.
Fisher also created and wrote the baseball comic strip, Scroogie, with legendary relief pitcher and character Tug McGraw, which was syndicated in 125 papers for four years, and was published in two collections. (Fawcett)
Fisher collaborated with William Shatner on his bestselling autobiography, Up Till Now (St. Martin’s) which was published in 2008 and two subsequent bestsellers, Leonard The Story of A 50 Year Friendship, with Leonard Nimoy, and Live Long and… What I learned Along the Way. In January, 2009, Grand Central Books published The Accountant, Fisher’s collaboration with Pablo Escobar’s brother, Roberto. Roberto was one of the leaders of the infamous Medellin drug cartel, and in this book reveals the story of the rise and fall of the most successful criminal – his brother -- in history. It is currently under option for a movie and thus far rights have been sold in seven countries.
In February, 2009 Hudson Street Books published Fisher’s controversial collaboration with former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, the central figure in baseball’s steroid scandal who provided much of the information revealed by Senator George Mitchell in the Mitchell Report.
In June, 2009 HarperCollins published Fisher’s collaboration with Detective Tommy Dades (NYPD ret.), and Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney Michael Vecchione, the two men who opened the cold case leading to the indictment and conviction of two highly placed New York City detectives who were moonlighting as Mafia killers entitled Friends of the Family, The True Story of the Mafia Cops. That book also remains under movie option.
Fisher’s collaboration with Harry Markopolos, the well-known Bernie Madoff whistleblower entitled No One Would Listen, appeared at #6 on the New York Times bestseller list the week of publication and quickly went back to press three times, resulting in over 500,000 copies in print.
His collaboration with Sanjiv Chopra, Chairman of the Department of Continuing Medical Education at Harvard Medical School entitled Dr. Chopra Says, about discerning the truth in medical claims (St. Martin’s Press), was published in January, 2011. In the summer of 2012 his collaboration with Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Jack Jacobs, an anecdotal history of military basic training entitled Basic, was published by St. Martin’s Press. That book is currently being developed as a reality show, in which viewers will ‘experience’ basic training.
In August, 2012, St. Martin’s published Sapp Attack, Fisher’s book with NFL Hall-of-Fame member and broadcaster Warren Sapp. Fisher’s collaboration with two-time Super Bowl winning coach Tom Coughlin, Earn the Right to Win: How Success In Any Field Starts With Superior Preparation, was published by Portfolio in March, 2013 and became his 18th New York Times bestseller.
In 2013 Tom Dunne Books published American Warrior, the amazing story of Special Forces Hall of Fame member and legendary soldier Gary O’Neal. In June, 2013 Amazon published Brotherhood: Dharma, Destiny and the American Dream, by philosopher/writer Deepak Chopra and Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, a book that Fisher created and co-authored. This story of two brothers raised in India, who immigrated to America and became world leaders in western and eastern medicine, was also a major bestseller around the world.
Fisher’s inside look at America’s most effective – and least known -- law enforcement agency, the U.S. Marshal Service was published to strong reviews in 2014. This is the first time the revamped Marshal Service – which quietly tracked down and arrested 121,000 felons (with an average of four convictions each, half of them designated as violent offenders) in 2012 has cooperated with a writer and made its Deputy Marshals available to a journalist to tell many of their most their amazing stories.
His collaboration with Dr. Jan Pol, star of Nat Geo Wild’s wildly successful show, The Incredible Dr. Pol, entitled Never Turn Your Back on An Angus Cow was published in June, 2014 and immediately became his 19th New York Times bestseller.
In April, 2015 his book, Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies: The Real West, the companion volume for the Fox News TV series of the same name debuted at #1 on the Times list and has remained there for several months. The second and third books in the series, The American Revolution and The Civil War also topped the Times bestsellers list.
In This Together, his collaboration with Ann Romney about her extraordinary fight against multiple sclerosis that has led to the establishment of the ground-breaking Ann Romney Institute for Neurologic Diseases, became his 23rdt Times bestseller.
In September, 2015, Fisher worked with then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on his campaign book, Crippled America, which immediately became a major bestseller.
His collaboration with the man Maxim magazine honored as ‘One of the Six Most Interesting People You Can Actually Meet’ Richard Garriott was published in 2017. Create/Explore: My Life At the Extremes. Garriott is one of the world’s most creative and successful entrepreneurs and adventurers; the man who essentially invented the multi-player online gaming industry (coining the word ‘avatar’ in that world), convinced the Russians to sell tickets to the International Space Station – where he spent two weeks and now owns the company, and now is actively involved in cutting-edge companies like SpaceX and Tesla.
After discovering that a transcript existed for the 27th and last murder trial in which Abraham Lincoln was involved Fisher recruited ABC’s legal correspondent Dan Abrams and their collaboration Lincoln’s Last Trial, which thus far has spent seven weeks in the summer of 2018 on the Times bestsellers list.
Although politically Fisher is a proud liberal, and the author with former Member of Congress Robert Wexler of Fire Breathing Liberal, his most recent book, a collaboration with conservative firebrand Glenn Beck, Addicted to Outrage, is being published in September, 2018.
He recently completed a political novel, a thriller entitled, How It Happened Here for Tom Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press which will be published in Spring, 2019.
Fisher is married and lives in New York with his wife and two sons and one very small, but very self-confident, Chihuahua.
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The newest installment in the New York Times #1 bestselling companion series to the Fox historical docudrama, Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies; The Civil War is a pulse-quickening account of the deadliest war in American history
From the birth of the Republican Party to the Confederacy’s first convention, the Underground Railroad to the Emancipation Proclamation, the Battle of Gettysburg to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies: The Civil War reveals the amazing and often little known stories behind the battle lines of America’s bloodiest war and debunks the myths that surround its greatest figures, including Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln, General Robert E. Lee, Frederick Douglass, Stonewall Jackson, John Singleton Mosby, Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, John Wilkes Booth, William Tecumseh Sherman, and more. An epic struggle between the past and future, the Civil War sought to fulfill the promise that “all men are created equal.” It freed an enslaved race, decimated a generation of young men, ushered in a new era of brutality in war, and created modern America. Featuring archival images, eyewitness accounts, and beautiful artwork that further brings the history to life, The Civil War is the action-packed and ultimate follow-up to the #1 bestsellers The Patriots and The Real West.
The must-have companion to Bill O'Reilly's historical docudrama Legends and Lies: The Patriots, an exciting and eye-opening look at the Revolutionary War through the lives of its leaders
The American Revolution was neither inevitable nor a unanimous cause. It pitted neighbors against each other, as loyalists and colonial rebels faced off for their lives and futures. These were the times that tried men's souls: no one was on stable ground and few could be trusted. Through the fascinating tales of the first Americans, Legends and Lies: The Patriots reveals the contentious arguments that turned friends into foes and the country into a warzone.
From the riots over a child's murder that led to the Boston Massacre to the suspicious return of Ben Franklin, the "First American;" from the Continental Army's first victory under George Washington's leadership to the little known southern Guerilla campaign of "Swamp Fox" Francis Marion, and the celebration of America's first Christmas, The Patriots recreates the amazing combination of resourcefulness, perseverance, strategy, and luck that led to this country's creation.
Heavily illustrated with spectacular artwork that brings this important history to vivid life, and told in the same fast-paced, immersive narrative as the first Legends and Lies, The Patriots is an irresistible, adventure-packed journey back into one of the most storied moments of our nation's rich history.
New York Times Bestseller
Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner first crossed paths as actors on the set of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Little did they know that their next roles as Spock and Captain Kirk, in a new science fiction television series, would shape their lives in ways no one could have anticipated. In seventy-nine television episodes of Star Trek and six feature films, they grew to know each other more than most friends could ever imagine.
Over the course of half a century, Shatner and Nimoy saw each other through personal and professional highs and lows. In this powerfully emotional book, Shatner tells the story of a man who was his friend for five decades, recounting anecdotes and untold stories of their lives on and off set, as well as gathering stories from others who knew Nimoy well, to present a full picture of a rich life.
As much a biography of Nimoy as a story of their friendship, Leonard is a uniquely heartfelt book written by one legendary actor in celebration of another.
Instant New York Times bestseller!
A Winner of the Barondess/Lincoln Award
A Washington Independent Review of Books Favorite Book of 2018
A Suspense Magazine Best Book of 2018
A Mental Floss Best Book of 2018
A USA Today Top 10 Hot Book for Summer
“Makes you feel as if you are watching a live camera riveted on a courtroom more than 150 years ago.” —Diane Sawyer
The true story of Abraham Lincoln’s last murder trial, a case in which he had a deep personal involvement—and which played out in the nation’s newspapers as he began his presidential campaign
At the end of the summer of 1859, twenty-two-year-old Peachy Quinn Harrison went on trial for murder in Springfield, Illinois. Abraham Lincoln, who had been involved in more than three thousand cases—including more than twenty-five murder trials—during his two-decades-long career, was hired to defend him. This was to be his last great case as a lawyer.
What normally would have been a local case took on momentous meaning. Lincoln’s debates with Senator Stephen Douglas the previous fall had gained him a national following, transforming the little-known, self-taught lawyer into a respected politician. He was being urged to make a dark-horse run for the presidency in 1860. Taking this case involved great risk. His reputation was untarnished, but should he lose this trial, should Harrison be convicted of murder, the spotlight now focused so brightly on him might be dimmed. He had won his most recent murder trial with a daring and dramatic maneuver that had become a local legend, but another had ended with his client dangling from the end of a rope.
The case posed painful personal challenges for Lincoln. The murder victim had trained for the law in his office, and Lincoln had been his friend and his mentor. His accused killer, the young man Lincoln would defend, was the son of a close friend and loyal supporter. And to win this trial he would have to form an unholy allegiance with a longtime enemy, a revivalist preacher he had twice run against for political office—and who had bitterly slandered Lincoln as an “infidel…too lacking in faith” to be elected.
Lincoln’s Last Trial captures the presidential hopeful’s dramatic courtroom confrontations in vivid detail as he fights for his client—but also for his own blossoming political future. It is a moment in history that shines a light on our legal system, as in this case Lincoln fought a legal battle that remains incredibly relevant today.
The Bronx-born son of a Jewish bootlegger, “Joey the Hit Man” was introduced to crime when he was just eleven years old. For the next thirty years he was a numbers king, scalper, loan shark, enforcer, and drug smuggler. He hijacked trucks, fenced stolen goods, and trafficked in pornography. But Joey really made his name as a Mafia assassin, racking up thirty-eight cold-blooded hits—thirty-five for cash, three for revenge.
In Killer, Joey tells the true story of life in organized crime. He exposes the reality of gang wars, discusses how he raised a family while living on the wrong side of the law, and documents the day-to-day business of crime—from making and breaking alliances to staying one step ahead of the cops. He reveals how he faced a grand jury seven times with no convictions (“never lie to your lawyer”) and kept a seven-figure fortune out of reach of the IRS. He lays out in graphic detail the difference between getting paid to kill and doing it for personal reasons. “People think because they saw [The Godfather] they know everything there is to know about organized crime,” Joey contends. In this no-holds-barred account, he reveals the brutal truth behind the Hollywood fantasy.
Forty-five years after this true crime classic shocked readers all over the world and set the standard for bestselling Mafia biographies including Joseph Bonnano’s A Man of Honor and Philip Carlo’s Ice Man, the new edition of Killer includes an afterword by coauthor David Fisher that unmasks Joey’s real identity—and the circumstances behind his death that add another layer of mystery to his complicated, colorful, and fascinating life.
“One of the most spectacular cases of police corruption in the city.”
—New York Times
Friends of the Family is a look deep inside the most notorious case to rock the NYPD: The story of Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, the two police detectives who moonlighted as mob hit men. As told by Tommy Dades and Michael Vecchione—the cop and District Attorney investigator who solved New York’s coldest case—along with co-writer David Fisher, Friends of the Family is shocking true crime in the tradition of Nicolas Pileggi’s Wiseguys and Underboss by Peter Mass—a chilling, in-depth examination of what the New York Daily News calls “the worst betrayal of the badge in the NYPD’s history.”
IT'S ONLY A GAME
"I had a real job once," begins a memoir as honest, unexpected, and downright hysterical as Bradshaw himself. From his humble beginnings in Shreveport, Louisiana, to his success as the centerpiece of the highest-rated football studio show in television history, Terry has always understood the importance of hard work. A veritable jack-of-all-trades, he has probably held more jobs than any other football Hall of Famer ever: pipeline worker, youth minister, professional singer, actor, television and radio talk show host, and now one of the nation's most popular speakers.
But let's not forget one of the reasons why so many people know and love Terry Bradshaw: he won four Super Bowls! In It's Only A Game, Terry brings the reader right into the huddle and describes the game from the bottom of a two-ton pile to the top of the sports world. You'll sit right on the fifty-yard line and watch as Terry earns the title world's greatest benchwarmer. And you'll also hear about the single greatest play in pro football -- the Immaculate Reception -- as he never saw it.
It's Only A Game is much more than a collection of Terry Bradshaw's favorite and funniest stories, it is the personal account of a great man's search for life before and after football...as only Terry could tell it.
These are the words of Roberto Escobar-the top accountant for the notorious and deadly Medellen Cartel, and brother of Pablo Escobar, the most famous drug lord in history. At the height of his reign, Pablo's multibillion-dollar operation smuggled tons of cocaine each week into countries all over the world. Roberto and his ten accountants kept track of all the money. Only Pablo and Roberto knew where it was stashed-and what it bought.
And the amounts of money were simply staggering. According to Roberto, it cost $2,500 every month just to purchase the rubber bands needed to wrap the stacks of cash. The biggest problem was finding a place to store it: from secret compartments in walls and beneath swimming pools to banks and warehouses everywhere. There was so much money that Roberto would sometimes write off ten percent as "spoilage," meaning either rats had chewed up the bills or dampness had ruined the cash.
Roberto writes about the incredible violence of the cartel, but he also writes of the humanitarian side of his brother. Pablo built entire towns, gave away thousands of houses, paid people's medical expenses, and built schools and hospitals. Yet he was responsible for the horrible deaths of thousands of people.
In short, this is the story of a world of riches almost beyond mortal imagination, and in his own words, Roberto Escobar tells all: building a magnificent zoo at Pablo's opulent home, the brothers' many escapes into the jungles of Colombia, devising ingenious methods to smuggle tons of cocaine into the United States, bribing officials with literally millions of dollars-and building a personal army to protect the Escobar family against an array of enemies sworn to kill them.
Few men in history have been more beloved-or despised-than Pablo Escobar. Now, for the first time, his story is told by the man who knew him best: his brother, Roberto.
The most famous lawyer in America talks about the law, his life, and how he has won.
Johnnie Cochran has been a lawyer for almost forty years. In that time, he has taken on dozens of groundbreaking cases and emerged as a pivotal figure in race relations in America. Cochran gained international recognition as one of America's best - and most controversial lawyers - for leading 'the Dream Team' defense of accused killer O.J. Simpson in the Trial of the Century. Many people formed their perception of Cochran based on his work in that trial. But long before the Simpson trial and since then Johnnie Cochran has been a leader in the fight for justice for all Americans. This is his story.
Cochran emerged from the trial as one of the nation's leading African-American spokespersons - and he has done most of his talking through the courtroom. Abner Louima. Amadou Diallo. The racially-profiled New Jersey Turnpike Four. Sean "P. Diddy" Combs. Patrick Dorismond. Cynthia Wiggins. These are the names that have dominated legal headlines - and Cochran was involved with each of them. No one who first encountered him during the Simpson trial can appreciate his impact on our world until they've read his whole story.
Drawing on Cochran's most intriguing and difficult cases, A Lawyer's Life shows how he's fought his critics, won for his clients, and affected real change within the system. This is an intimate and compelling memoir of one lawyer's attempt to make us all truly equal in the eyes of the law.
"Two things nobody wants to grow up to be are an umpire and broke. Thanks to my career in baseball, I got both."
After calling balls, strikes, and outs for thirty-six baseball seasons and more than three thousand major-league games, umpire Ken Kaiser finally called it a career. From the first day he hit a minor-league catcher with a pool table to the fateful day baseball called him out on a strike, Kaiser was one of the game's most popular and colorful characters. And in this autobiography--written with the coauthor of Ron Luciano's classic bestseller The Umpire Strikes Back--Kaiser brings to life his wild adventures from the pro-wrestling arena to the baseball diamond.
This is the hysterically true story of four decades of baseball as lived and loved on the playing field, from Ted Williams and Billy Martin to Derek Jeter and Mark McGwire, from one-eyed umpires to space-age technology. As he did throughout his long and sometimes controversial career, the larger-than-his-chest-protector Kaiser calls 'em as he saw 'em.