David Epstein

David Epstein

Formal First Name
1980 - present

David Epstein is the author of the #1 New York Times best-seller Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, which examines the world’s top performers, from professional athletes to artists, scientists, entrepreneurs and Nobel laureates, and the New York Times best-seller The Sports Gene, which has been translated in 20 languages. Previously, David was the host of Slate‘s popular “How To!” podcast, and a science and an investigative reporter at ProPublica, where his work spanned poor medical research to poor drug enforcement practices. Prior to that, he was a senior writer at Sports Illustrated, where he authored or co-authored many of the magazine's most high profile stories. David has given talks about performance science and the uses (and misuses) of data on five continents. His TED Talk has been viewed 11 million times, and was shared by Bill Gates. Three of his stories have been optioned for films: a Sports Illustrated story on the only living Olympian to have survived a concentration camp; an Atlantic/ProPublica piece detailing the DEA’s fraught pursuit of Chapo Guzman’s rivals; and a 2016 “This American Life” episode he wrote and narrated about a woman with two rare diseases who shares a mutant gene with an Olympic medalist.

Academic History


  • At ProPublica, he covered science, medicine, sports, and frequently all three of those in the same project.

  • At Sports Illustrated, he co-authored the story that revealed Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez had used steroids.

  • He has also written about drugs-but-not-sports, detailing the DEA's complicated pursuit of Chapo Guzman's rivals.

  • He was a crime reporter at the New York Daily News, and the first reporter at Inside Higher Ed.

  • He has worked as an ecology researcher in the Arctic, studied geology and astronomy while residing in the Sonoran Desert.


  • His story “Following the Trail of Broken Hearts,” was chosen as one of the top 100 stories of the last 100 years by Columbia Journalism alumni.

  • His writing has been honored by an array of organizations such as National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

  • His writing has also been featured in the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Center on Disability and Journalism.

  • He has been included in the Best American Science and Nature Writing anthology.


  • Pat Tillman Foundation

  • Classroom Champions

  • Jubilee JumpStart


  • Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World is only one of five titles to make Bill Gates' “Holiday Books 2020” list.

  • The book was also named one of Wharton professor Adam Grant's “New Leadership books to Read in 2019”.

  • Range has also been named one of Amazon’s best business books of 2019, and Inc.’s  2019 Must Read Books for Entrepreneurs.

  • It is also #1 out of 100 of the “Best Social Psychology Books of All Time” by Book Authority.

  • The Washington Post named Range one of its “10 Leadership Books to Watch For,” and it was selected by Apple for its “Best Audiobooks of 2019” list.