Speaker: Brian Jay Jones
New York Times bestselling biographer Brian Jay Jones spent nearly two decades as a public policy analyst and speechwriter, before turning to biography in 2007. He is past president of Biographers International Organization and presently serves as Associate Director of the Great Lives program.
Born in Kansas and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Brian has a degree in English from the University of New Mexico, which he immediately parlayed into a brief career as a manager of a comic book store before getting into politics and writing. He spent nearly a decade in the U.S. Senate as a senior policy analyst for welfare reform, civil rights, and education, and has served as an Associate State Superintendent of Education, and policy advisor for state- and county-elected officials.
A biographer with a fondness for “slightly off-center American geniuses” (Washington Post), Brian is the author of Washington Irving – hailed as the definitive biography of American literature’s first popular author and pop culture icon – and of the bestselling Jim Henson: The Biography, the first full-length biography of the iconic creator of the Muppets. His most recent book, George Lucas: A Life was published in December 2016.
Brian has discussed his work on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Today, Tavis Smiley, and The Cycle, as well as numerous documentaries, including PBS’s In Their Own Words: Jim Henson.
He currently lives in Virginia with his wife and a very excitable dog who refuses to stay off the furniture.