God Save Texas (Wright) - Author Bio

Author Bio
Birth—August 2, 1947
Raised—Abilene and Dallas, Texas, USA
Education—B.A., Tulane University; M.A., American University in Cairo
Awards—Pulitzer Prize-Nonfiction
Currently—lives in Austin, Texas


Lawrence Wright is an American author, screenwriter, staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, and fellow at the Center for Law and Security at the New York University School of Law. He is best known as the author of the 2006 nonfiction book The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11.

Background and education
Wright graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, Texas, in 1965 and was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 2009. He is a graduate of Tulane University and earned an M.A. in Applied Linguistics at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, where he also taught for two years.

In 1980 Wright began working for the magazine Texas Monthly and contributed to Rolling Stone magazine. He joined the staff of The New Yorker in late 1992.


The Looming Tower

Wright is the author of six books but is best known for his 2006 The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. A quick bestseller, the book was awarded the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, and he is considered by some journalists as one of the most knowledgeable background sources for Al Qaeda and 9/11.

The book's title is from the Quran 4:78: "Wherever you are, death will find you, even in the looming tower," a phrase Osama bin Laden quoted three times in a videotaped speech seen as directed to the 9/11 hijackers.

A 2010 HBO documentary, My Trip to Al-Qaeda, is based on Wright's experience in the Mid-East while researching The Looming Tower. The film looks at al-Qaeda, Islamic radicalism, hostility to America and the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. It combines Wright's first-person narrative with documentary footage and photographs.

In 2018, Hulu premiered The Looming Tower in a 10-part TV mini-series. Wright co-wrote the series with Alex Gibney. While the book goes back to the founding of Al-Qaeda, which grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in the 1950s, the TV series begins with the bombing of the U.S. Embassies in east Africa in 1998.

Going Clear
Stemming from an earlier New Yorker article, Wright published a full-length book on Scientology—Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief in 2013. During his research for the book, Wright spoke to 200 current and former Scientologists; a number of those conversations are included in the book, along with an examination of the organization's history and leadership.

In an interview with the New York Times, Wright revealed he had received "innumerable" letters threatening legal action from lawyers and celebrities representing Scientology. The Church published an official statement in its newsroom and blog rebutting Wright's claims.

In 2015 the book was adapted as a documentary film. Wright worked with Alex Gibney, with whom he would collaborate three years later on The Looming Tower 2018 drama series.

Other
Wright plays the keyboard in the Austin, Texas, blues collective WhoDo.

He is also a playwright, having worked on a script over several years about the making of the 1963 film Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and Rex Harrison. The play, titled Cleo, was scheduled to open in Houston in October, 2017. The opening was delayed however because of the catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. It finally opened six months later in April, 2018. (From Wikipedia. Retrieved 5/10/2018.)

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