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Overview (2)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA  (prostate cancer)

Mini Bio (1)

Joe McGinniss was born in New York City in 1942. After finishing high school, he attended Holy Cross College in Worchester, Massachusetts, where he worked for the school newspaper and, during summers, the Port Chester Daily Item. After graduating from Holy Crossin 1964, McGinniss worked as a reporter for the Worcester Telegram,where he realized that he had a talent worth pursuing.

McGinniss then worked as a sportswriter for The Philadelphia Bulletin, and soon its competitor The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he became a columnist in 1966. Two years later, in 1968 McGinniss stumbled upon a story that would become his first book. While working on a profile of Howard Cosell for TV Guide, McGinniss learned that a friend of Cosell's had the advertising account for Hubert Humphrey's presidential campaign. Humphrey would not cooperate with McGinniss, but Richard Nixon's campaign advisor's allowed him to observe first-hand the process of "selling" a president to the public. The book, The Selling of the President, was published in 1969. It earned him various positive critic reviews and put his name on the New York Times bestseller list overnight. McGinniss's next book, The Dream Team, published in 1972, was the story of a successful young novelist who ends up unhinged by his obsession with horse racing, women, and alcohol. Its reception was something of a letdown.

In the next book, Heroes, published in 1976, McGinniss mixed journalism with memoir. Critics gave the book mixed reviews, but the book earned him respect as an honest writer on a quest for self-understanding. Going to Extremes, published in 1980, was an account of his adventures and misadventures in Alaska. The book was a critical success and landed on the front page of the New York Times Book Review.

McGinniss's big commercial break came in 1979 when he met Jeffrey MacDonald, a former Green Beret U.S. Army doctor accused of murdering his wife and two daughters back in 1970. The doctor agreed to let McGinniss write a book about his murder trial. MacDonald was convicted of the triple murder and sentenced to life in prison. McGinniss researched MacDonald's case for three more years. Fatal Vision (1984), published in 1983. Fatal Vision was an immediate bestseller, which sold three million copies and earned McGinniss a place in the author's guild of the world. The book angered the imprisoned MacDonald so much that he sued McGinniss for breach of contract, claiming McGinniss wrote a book full of "contradictions and fabrications" portraying MacDonald as guilty when he, to his day, claims that he was wrongfully convicted. After a mistrial in 1987 the case was settled out of court.

McGinniss followed the success of Fatal Vision with two more real-life crime dramas. Blind Faith (1990), published in 1989, and Cruel Doubt (1992), published in 1991, were more or less part of a trilogy of crime dramas featuring dysfunctional families driven to extreme measures of murder. McGinniss's next book, published in 1993, was The Last Brother, a biography of Ted Kennedy.

McGinniss was offered a $1 million advance by his publisher to write a book on the O.J. Simpson criminal trial. The former football player was charged with the double murder of his ex-wife and a friend of hers. But in the end, despite being present throughout the long trial from January to October 1995, McGinniss declined to write any book on the case and gave back the $1 million, calling the trial: "a farce from start to finish," and the verdict: "a mockery of justice."

McGinniss traveled to Italy in 1996 where he wrote The Miracle of Castel di Sangro, which detailed the dramatic life and times of an Italian football (soccer) team. In 2004, McGinniss published The Big Horse, a compelling nonfiction account of a colorful thoroughbred trainer's one big success. In Never Enough (2007) McGinniss returned to true-crime with the critically acclaimed story of another family murder, this time a rich, unhappy wife who kills her investment banker husband in Hong Kong so she can be with her blue-collar lover.

McGinniss lived in Western Massachusetts. He died on March 10, 2014 from complications of inoperable prostate cancer at the UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: matt-282

Spouse (2)

Nancy Doherty (20 November 1976 - 10 March 2014) ( his death) ( 2 children)
Christine Cooke (25 September 1965 - ?) ( divorced) ( 3 children)

Trivia (5)

He was a 1964 graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Turned down a $1 million offer to write a book on the O.J. Simpson criminal trial in 1995 despite being present throughout the entire event.
Teaching journalism and creative writing at Soka University of America. [May 2002]
Longtime good friend of Chris Matthews.
He had three children by his first wife Chris Cook: Christine F. McGinniss Marque, Suzanne McGinniss Boyer and author Joe McGinniss Jr.. He had two children with his second wife Nancy Doherty: Matthew McGinniss and James McGinniss.

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