Sebastian Junger is the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of The Perfect Storm, A Death in Belmont and Fire. As a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and as a contributor to ABC News, he has covered major international news stories in Liberia, Sierra Leone and other places around the globe. He has been awarded the National Magazine Award and an SAIS Novartis Prize for Journalism. Junger became a fixture in the national media when, as a first-time author, he commanded The New York Times best-seller list for more than three years with The Perfect Storm, which later set sales records and became a major motion picture from Warner Bros.
For over a year, Junger and photojournalist Tim Hetherington embedded with battle company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, in the remote and heavily contested Korengal valley of eastern Afghanistan. Reporting on the war from the soldiers’ perspective, Junger spent weeks at a time at a remote outpost that saw more combat than almost anywhere else in the entire country. The professional result is twofold: his most recent book, titled WAR (Twelve), and the Academy Award nominated film for Best Documentary, Restrepo, that also won the 2010 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on the National Geographic Channel.
His reporting on Afghanistan in 2000, profiling Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud, became the subject of the National Geographic documentary “Into the Forbidden Zone.” In 2001, his expertise and experience reporting in Afghanistan led him to cover the war as a special correspondent for ABC News and Vanity Fair. His work has also been published in Harper’s, the New York Times Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Outside, and Men’s Journal. He has reported on the LURD besiegement of Monrovia in Liberia, human rights abuses in Sierra Leone, war crimes in Kosovo, the peacekeeping mission in Cyprus, wildfire in the American West, guerilla war in Afghanistan, and hostage-taking in Kashmir. He has worked as a freelance radio correspondent during the war in Bosnia.
Junger is a native New Englander and a graduate of Wesleyan University. Attracted since childhood to “extreme situations and people at the edges of things,” Junger worked as a high-climber for tree removal companies. After a chainsaw injury, he decided to focus on journalism, primarily writing about people with dangerous jobs, from fire fighting to commercial fishing (which led, of course, to The Perfect Storm).
In 1998 Junger established The Perfect Storm Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides educational opportunities for children of people in the maritime professions.
At the podium, Junger engages audiences with a powerful, emotionally compelling and vivid portrait of the impact of war. Drawing upon his prolific career of more than 20 years of international reporting, Junger shares personal anecdotes and direct experiences from the trenches of Afghanistan. A witness to some of the most heroic, disturbing and life-affirming events that represent the conflicted nature of war, Junger explores the emotional experience of combat and the impact of war on our everyday lives.
Junger lives in New York City and on Cape Cod.
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