Jon Krakauer Biography
Jon Krakauer is an American writer and mountaineer. He is the author of best-selling non-fiction books—Into the Wild; Into Thin Air; Under the Banner of Heaven; and Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman—as well as numerous magazine articles. He was a member of an ill-fated expedition to summit Mount Everest in 1996, one of the deadliest disasters in the history of climbing Everest.
Jon Krakauer Age
Jon Krakauer was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S. on April 12, 1954. As of 2019, he is 65 years of age.
Jon Krakauer Family
Krakauer was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on April 12, 1954. He is the third of five children of Carol Ann (née Jones) and Lewis Joseph Krakauer. His father was Jewish and his mother was a Unitarian, of Scandinavian descent. He was raised in Corvallis, Oregon.
His father introduced him to mountaineering at the age of eight. He competed in tennis at Corvallis High School and graduated in 1972. He went on to study at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, where in 1976 he received his degree in Environmental Studies.
Jon Krakauer Wife
He is a married man. In 1977, he met former climber Linda Mariam Moore, and after dating they married in 1980. They lived in Seattle, Washington, but after the release of Krakauer’s book Into Thin Air, they moved to Boulder, Colorado.
Jon Krakauer Net Worth
Krakauer is an American writer and mountaineer, widely known for his book “Into Thin Air”. He has obtained his wealth by writing about the non-fiction mountain climbing and outdoors. Currently, he has an estimated net worth of $35 million dollars.
Jon Krakauer Career
After graduating from college, Krakauer spent three weeks alone in the wilderness of the Stikine Icecap region of Alaska. During that time, he climbed a new route on the Devils Thumb, an experience he described in Eiger Dreams and in Into the Wild. In 1992, he made his way to Cerro Torre in the Andes of Patagonia—a sheer granite peak considered to be one of the most difficult technical climbs in the world.
In 1996, he took part in a guided ascent of Mount Everest. His group was one of those caught in the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. This was the time in which a violent storm trapped a number of climbers high on the slopes of the mountain. Krakauer reached the peak and returned to camp, but four of his teammates (including group leader Rob Hall) died while making their descent in the storm.
A candid recollection of the event was published in Outside magazine and, later, in the book Into Thin Air. By the end of the 1996 climbing season, fifteen people had died on the mountain, making it the deadliest single year in Everest history to that point. This has been exceeded by the sixteen deaths in the 2014 Mount Everest avalanche, and the 2015 earthquake avalanche disaster in which nineteen people were killed. He publicly criticized the commercialization of Mount Everest following this tragedy.
Krakauer’s popularity as a writer came from his work as a journalist for Outside. In November 1983, gave up his part-time work as a fisherman and carpenter to become a full-time writer. In addition to his work on mountain climbing, the topics he covered as a freelance writer varied greatly.
His writing has also appeared in Architectural Digest, National Geographic Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Smithsonian. His 1992 book Eiger Dreams collects some of his articles written between 1982 and 1989.
On one of his assignments for Outside, Krakauer wrote an article focusing on two parties during his ascent of Mt. Everest: the one he was in, led by Rob Hall. Also, the one led by Scott Fischer, both of whom successfully guided clients to the summit but experienced severe difficulty during the descent.
The storm, and, in his estimation, irresponsible choices by guides of both parties, led to a number of deaths, including both head guides. He felt the short account did not accurately cover the event and clarified his initial statements—especially those regarding the death of Andy Harris—in Into Thin Air. The book also includes extensive interviews with fellow survivors.
Krakauer also edited the Exploration series of the Modern Library.
Three Cups of Deceit controversy
On April 17, 2011, he was featured during a CBS 60 Minutes report. The reporter Steve Kroft raised questions about humanitarian Greg Mortenson and the non-profit Central Asia Institute (CAI). Jon questioned the accuracy of events in Mortenson’s book Three Cups of Tea and whether Mortenson was kidnapped by the Taliban in 1996 as described in his second book, Stones into Schools.
He went on to question Mortenson’s credibility through the financial practices of CAI. Krakauer had been a financial supporter of Mortenson’s work and had previously donated $75,000 before becoming disillusioned with him and his management of CAI.
The 60 Minutes story largely retraced the conclusions he came to as described in his e-book, Three Cups of Deceit – How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero, Lost His Way. The e-book was released the day after the 60 Minutes piece aired.
Scott Darsney, a respected mountaineer and friend of Greg Mortenson, wrote a response to Krakauer’s allegations that was published as an exclusive article in Outside magazine’s online version. Darnsey’s response questioned the accuracy and fairness of both the Krakauer piece and the 60 Minutes report.
He further stated that Krakauer either misquoted or misunderstood what he said when interviewed by the author. Darnsey went on to say that Krakauer took Mortenson’s experiences in Afghanistan and Pakistan out of context and added, “If Jon Krakauer and some of Greg’s detractors had taken the time to have three or more cups of tea with Greg and others—instead of one cup of tea with a select few who would discredit him—they would have found some minor problems and transgressions. But to the extent to call it all ‘lies’ and ‘fraud’? No way.”
Jon Krakauer Books
Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains (1992) is a non-fiction collection of articles and essays by Jon on mountaineering and rock climbing. It concerns a variety of topics, from ascending the Eiger Nordwand in the Swiss Alps, Denali in Alaska or K2 in the Karakoram, to the well-known rock climbers Krakauer has met on his trips, such as John Gill.
Into the Wild
Into the Wild was published in 1996 and spent two years on The New York Times Best Seller List. The book employs a non-linear narrative that documents the travels of Christopher McCandless, a young man from a well-to-do East Coast family who, in 1990, after graduating from Emory University, donated all of the money ($24,000) in his bank account to the humanitarian charity Oxfam, renamed himself “Alexander Supertramp”, and began a journey in the American West.
McCandless’ remains were found in August 1992; he had died of starvation near Lake Wentitika in Denali National Park and Preserve. In the book, Krakauer draws parallels between McCandless’ experiences and his own, and the experiences of other adventurers. Into The Wild was adapted into a film of the same name, which was released on September 21, 2007.
Into Thin Air
In 1997, he expanded his September 1996 Outside article into what has become his best-known book, Into Thin Air. The book describes the climbing parties’ experiences and the general state of Everest mountaineering at the time. Hired as a journalist by the magazine, he had participated as a client of the 1996 Everest climbing team led by Rob Hall—the team which ended up suffering the greatest casualties in the 1996 Mount Everest disaster.
The book reached the top of The New York Times‘ non-fiction bestseller list, was honored as “Book of the Year” by Time magazine and was among three books considered for the General Non-Fiction Pulitzer Prize in 1998. The American Academy of Arts and Letters gave Krakauer an Academy Award in Literature in 1999 for his work.
They also commented that the writer “combines the tenacity and courage of the finest tradition of investigative journalism with the stylish subtlety and profound insight of the born writer. His account of an ascent of Mount Everest has led to a general reevaluation of climbing and of the commercialization of what was once a romantic, solitary sport.”
Krakauer has contributed royalties from this book to the Everest ’96 Memorial Fund at the Boulder Community Foundation, which he founded as a tribute to his deceased climbing partners.
In a TV-movie version of the book, Krakauer was played by Christopher McDonald. Everest, a feature film based on the events of the disaster directed by Baltasar Kormákur, was released in 2015 In the film, Krakauer is portrayed by Michael Kelly. He denounced the movie, saying some of its details were fabricated and defamatory.
He also expressed regret regarding Sony’s rapid acquisition of the rights to the book. Director Baltasar Kormákur responded, claiming Krakauer’s first-person account was not used as source material for the film and alleged that his version of events conflicted with the plot.
Under the Banner of Heaven
In 2003, Under the Banner of Heaven became Krakauer’s third non-fiction bestseller. The book examines extremes of religious belief, specifically fundamentalist offshoots of Mormonism. Krakauer looks at the practice of polygamy in these offshoots and scrutinizes it in the context of the Latter Day Saints religion throughout history. Much of the focus of the book is on the Lafferty brothers, who murdered in the name of their fundamentalist faith.
Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman
In the October 25, 2007, season premiere of Iconoclasts on the Sundance Channel, Krakauer mentioned being deeply embroiled in the writing of a new book, but did not reveal the title, subject, or expected date of completion. Doubleday Publishing originally planned to release the book in the fall of 2008, but postponed the launch in June of that year, announcing that Krakauer was “unhappy with the manuscript”.
Three Cups of Deceit: How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero, Lost His Way
Three Cups of Deceit is a 2011 e-book that made claims of mismanagement and accounting fraud by Greg Mortenson, a humanitarian who built schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan; and his charity, the Central Asia Institute. It was later released in paperback by Anchor Books.
Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town
Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town (2015) explores how rape is handled by colleges and the criminal justice system. The book follows several case studies of women raped in Missoula, Montana, many of them linked in some way to the University of Montana. Krakauer attempts to illuminate why many victims do not want to report their rapes to the police, and he criticizes the justice system for giving the benefit of the doubt to assailants but not to victims. Krakauer was inspired to write the book when a friend of his, a young woman, revealed to him that she had been raped.
Jon Krakauer Quotes
- I now walk into the wild.
- Some people feel like they don’t deserve love. They walk away quietly into empty spaces, trying to close the gaps of the past.
- When you forgive, you love. And when you love, God’s light shines upon you.
- I read somewhere… how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong… to measure yourself at least once.
- I’m going to paraphrase Thoreau here… rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness… give me truth.
- Mr. Franz, I think careers are a 20th-century invention and I don’t want one.