Brian Jay Jones
Writer, Public Speaker, and Editor in Maryland
New York Times bestselling biographer Brian Jay Jones spent nearly two decades as a public policy analyst and speechwriter, before turning to biography in 2007. He presently serves as president of Biographers International Organization.
Brian’s most recent book, Jim Henson: The Biography (Ballantine, 2013) was a New York Times bestseller, and chosen as the Best Biography of 2013 by Goodreads, as well as one of the year’s Top Ten books by CNN viewers.
Brian’s first book, Washington Irving (Arcade, 2008), was praised as the definitive biography of American literature’s first popular author and pop culture icon. In 2010, Brian was awarded the St. Nicholas Society of New York’s Washington Irving Medal for Literary Excellence, joining David McCullough, Ron Chernow, Christopher Buckley, and William Zinsser on the list of medal recipients.
Born in Kansas and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Brian has a degree in English literature from the University of New Mexico, which he immediately parlayed into a brief career as a manager of a comic book store before getting into politics and writing.
For nearly ten years, he worked as a policy advisor in the United States Senate, serving in the office of U.S. Senator Pete V. Domenici, and then on the U.S. Senate HELP Committee for Chairman James M. Jeffords. He has also served as an associate state superintendent of education for the state of Arizona, a chief of staff for a think tank in Washington, D.C., and as a legislative aide for several county officials.
He is presently at work on a biography of filmmaker George Lucas for Little, Brown, to be published in 2016. He continues to believe that Han shot first. Don’t even start.
A compelling public speaker and presenter, Brian has discussed his work in a wide variety of venues, from the Smithsonian Institute and the New York Public Library to the Museum of the Moving Image and University of Mary Washington. He has also appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Today, Tavis Smiley, and The Cycle, as well as numerous documentaries, including PBS’s In Their Own Words: Jim Henson.
Brian currently lives in Maryland with his wife and a very excitable dog who refuses to stay off the furniture.