Jack El-Hai

Jack El-Hai – Ghostwriter

Author of books on medicine, the sciences, and history. Writing coach for physicians, other healthcare professionals, and scientists.


I'm the author of 14 books, including The Lobotomist, The Nazi and the Psychiatrist, and The Lost Brothers, plus the Long Lost podcast. I've written hundreds of articles for such publications as Smithsonian, The Atlantic, Scientific American Mind, Wired, The Washington Post Magazine, Discover, and GQ. Several of my books have been optioned and produced for TV and film.

I am also a busy writing coach, helping physicians, healthcare professionals, and scientists enjoy the benefits of writing: relief from stress and burnout, greater perspective and empathy, heightened observation and curiosity, satisfaction, and the rewards of publication.
Biographies & Memoirs History Life Sciences Medicine, Nursing, & Dentistry Psychology True Crime
Literary Fiction
English (US)
  • June Roth Memorial Award in Medical Journalism, American Society of Journalists and Authors
  • Two Minnesota Book Awards
  • Annual Book Award, Medical Journalists' Association of the UK
  • McKnight Fellow in Creative Prose
  • Article of the year award, American Society of Journalists and Authors
  • Past president and life member, American Society of Journalists and Authors
  • MFA in nonfiction creative writing, Bennington College

Work experience


Jan, 1993 — Present

Author and ghostwriter of books and more than 600 articles and essays. A teacher and presenter of writing programs at such institutions as the Mayo Clinic, the Association for Communications Excellence, the International Association of Business Communicators, the American Medical Writers Association, the American Psychological Association, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, Tufts University, the University of Mississippi, Carleton College, the Library of Virginia, Stanford University, the University of Michigan, the University of Maryland, the University of Toronto, Cornell University, and many other venues.


In 1945, after his capture at the end of the Second World War, Hermann Göring arrived at an American-run detention center in war-torn Luxembourg, accompanied by sixteen suitcases and a red hatbox. The suitcases contained all manner of paraphernalia: medals, ge... read more
A colorful glimpse into the Minnesota Historical Society's vast collections—some 500,000 books, 37,000 maps, 250,000 photographs, 5,500 artworks, 1,650 oral history interviews, 4.5 million newspaper issues, 38,000 cubic feet of manuscripts, 45,000 cubic feet o... read more
Believe it or not, Minnesota’s architectural landscape has included a house made from the fuselage of a B-29 bomber, a hotel that spent its final years as a chicken hatchery, a Civil War cemetery, a treehouse built and occupied year-round by an eccentric unive... read more
The Lobotomist explores one of the darkest chapters of American medicine: the desperate attempt to treat the hundreds of thousands of psychiatric patients in need of help during the middle decades of the twentieth century. Into this crisis stepped Walter Freem... read more
From its earliest flights in 1926, carrying mail and occasionally a solo passenger to Chicago, to its acquisition by Delta in 2010, Northwest Airlines soared to the heights of technological achievement and business innovation—and sunk to the depths of employee... read more

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