Author Profile

Jonathan Eig

Jonathan Eig

Ken Burns calls Jonathan Eig a "master storyteller." Eig is the author of five books, three of them New York Times best sellers. He was born in Brooklyn and graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Eig is a former staff writer for The Wall Street Journal, where he remains a contributing writer. Eig has also written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and, among others. Prior to The Wall Street Journal, he worked as a feature writer for Chicago magazine and as a news reporter for The Dallas Morning News and The New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Eig has taught writing at Columbia College Chicago and Northwestern. He has spoken to audiences at the Library of Congress, the National Archives, Harvard Medical School, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame. His first book, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig, won the Casey Award for best baseball book of the year. Ali was named winner of PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sportswriting; best book of the year by Sports Illustrated; and one of the ten best non-fiction books of the year by The Wall Street Journal. It was a finalist for Mark Lynton History Prize, the Plutarch Award, the William Hill Award, and an NAACP Image Award.

Eig has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and in two Ken Burns documentaries: Prohibition and Jackie Robinson. He is currently working with Burns and Florentine Films in making a documentary on Muhammad Ali.

For more about Jonathan and his works, go to

Reviews of The Birth of the Pill

Eig's nimbly paced cultural history shows that the pill's genesis was anything but simple.
-- Irin Carmon, New York Times

The Birth of the Pill is Eig's suspenseful, sometimes rollicking tale of a highly ambitious, iconoclastic yet single-minded ragtag quartet who, from 1950 to 1957, dreamed, plotted, manipulated, agitated, researched, begged, bluffed, boasted and spent its way toward its goal of creating and popularizing an easily administered and highly efficacious contraceptive for women.
-- Anna Holmes, Los Angeles Times

Aside from being a fascinating look into the evolution of medical practices, funding and ethics, 'The Birth of the Pill' is an intricate portrait of how completely women's reproductive lives are woven into our culture in disturbing and contradictory ways.
-- San Francisco Chronicle

Videos featuring Jonathan Eig

On The Daily Show