Jack El-Hai

Jack El-Hai - Ghostwriter

Minneapolis, United States

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

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Overview

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.
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
History
Life Sciences
Medicine, Nursing, & Dentistry
Psychology
True Crime
Fiction
Literary Fiction

Certifications

  • Past president and life member, American Society of Journalists and Authors
  • MFA in nonfiction creative writing, Bennington College

Awards

  • 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

Work experience

Writer, writing coach, and book author

Self-employed
January, 1993 – Present (almost 30 years)

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.

Portfolio (6 selected works)

The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Göring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII

Jack El-Hai

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, gems, two cigar cutters, silk underwear, a hot water bottle, and the equivalent of 1 million in cash. Hidden in a coffee can, a set of bra... read more

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, gems, two cigar cutters, silk underwear, a hot water bottle, and the equivalent of 1 million in cash. Hidden in a coffee can, a set of bra... read more

Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines

Jack El-Hai

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 discord, passenger dissatisfaction, and financial bankruptcy. Its story, rich in singular successes and failures, also has the sweep of... 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 discord, passenger dissatisfaction, and financial bankruptcy. Its story, rich in singular successes and failures, also has the sweep of... read more

The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness

Jack El-Hai

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 Freeman, M.D., who saw a solution in lobotomy, a brain operation intended to reduce the severity of psychotic symptoms. Drawing on Freeman’s ... 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 Freeman, M.D., who saw a solution in lobotomy, a brain operation intended to reduce the severity of psychotic symptoms. Drawing on Freeman’s ... read more

Lost Minnesota: Stories of Vanished Places

Jack El-Hai

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 university professor, and a railway that once carried passengers up Duluth’s steep incline from Lake Superior. They are all gone now, along w... 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 university professor, and a railway that once carried passengers up Duluth’s steep incline from Lake Superior. They are all gone now, along w... read more

Minnesota Collects

Jack El-Hai

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 of government records, 165,000 museum objects, and nearly 800,000 archaeological artifacts—the "stuff" of history! Experience Minnesota's... 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 of government records, 165,000 museum objects, and nearly 800,000 archaeological artifacts—the "stuff" of history! Experience Minnesota's... read more

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