At age 17, Eustace Conway moved into the North Carolina woods. He hasn’t compromised since.
A profile of Edna Buchanan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning crime reporter for the Miami Herald during its heyday.
A profile of Jill Abramson from her first weeks as executive editor of The New York Times.
A profile of the Los Angeles Clippers owner, an oft-sued real estate baron with a documented racist streak and a penchant for heckling his own players, on the occasion of him winning an NAACP lifetime achievement award.
In between projects, the director searches for “that next soul-nourishing gig.”
After two years of filming Lawrence of Arabia, Peter O'Toole returns to his childhood home in Ireland.
Plus: 50 years later, Gay Talese remembers the late Peter O'Toole.
The world’s most famous child star grows up.
A profile of Roseanne Barr and her multiple personalities.
Meet Alan Chambers, former leader of Exodus International–a “pray the gay away” ministry.
A melancholic Billy Ray Cyrus on the trauma of being the father of a famous 18-year-old girl, his friendship with Kurt Cobain, and his favorite mullet nicknames (Kentucky Waterfall and Missouri Compromise).
Meet Mark Millar, the brains behind our era’s most violent, ingenious comics.
Scott Storch, a producer who earned six figures for beats he made in less than an hour, was worth an estimated $70 million. Then he blew it all in a bizarre cocaine binge.
A profile of the spy writer.
The next generation of America’s most controversial (and likely most despised) church.
Gretchen Molannen was perpetually aroused. She couldn’t work or sleep.
On December 1, the day after this story was published, she killed herself.
Richard Simmons at 64, sweatin’ to the oldies (and country and disco) thrice weekly.
A profile of Reinhold Messner, the greatest mountain climber of all time.
He confessed to more than 30 murders. But Thomas Quick (also known as Sture Bergwall) may not have committed any of them.
Bruce Cawsey Waite has no home, no office, and wears a dead man’s suit.
The former chancellor of New York City schools was not, in fact, “a child of the streets. He was not an academically unmotivated student. He did not come from a deprived family background. He did not grow up in public housing as we understand it today.”
On the staff of a Trader Joe’s in New York City.
An attempt at writing about the football coach.
The former editor of the New York Observer, profiled.
Catching up with the controversial radio host, who recently returned to the air after years away.
A profile of the oft-shirtless tight end Rob Gronkowski.
The author attempts to interview Grigori Perelman, a reclusive mathematical genius.
An appraisal of the Wisconsin congressman’s “green-eyeshade fiscal conservatism.”
The liberation of the Williams sisters.
The rise and fall of Mickey the Pope, the founder of a New York City marijuana delivery business.
A profile of “not just the toughest but the most corrupt and abusive sheriff in America.”
What became of Annie Moore, the first person to arrive on Ellis Island?
A profile of the man behind the “7 Habits.”
What would drive a man to stand outside the Vatican embassy nearly every day for 14 years?
A profile of Larry King at the height of his fame and on the heels of his sixth divorce.
Meet Dr. Schnoz, the nose-sculpting YouTube king of Miami.
A profile of Ann Coulter, “the glowing scimitar of the American right.”
Meet Faygele ben Miriam, the radical activist “beyond the leading edge” of the same-sex marriage fight.
A profile of fashion designer Nudie Cohn, who made clothing for Elvis, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, and others.
A profile of the singer as he returns to the stage for the first time in a dozen years.
A profile of singer-songwriter Will Oldham.
He has settled into character as an uncanny troubadour, singing a sort of transfigured country music, and he has become, in his own subterranean way, a canonical figure. Johnny Cash covered him, Björk has championed him (she invited him to appear on the soundtrack of “Drawing Restraint 9”), and Madonna, he suspects, has quoted him (her song “Let It Will Be” seems to borrow from his “O Let It Be,” though he says, “I’m fully prepared to accept that it’s a coincidence”).
A profile of former Bosnia Serb military commander Ratko Mladic, whose war crimes trial began, and was abruptly suspended, this week.
“Being Justin Bieber means having an endless number of T-shirts to destroy.” A profile of the pop star just after his 18th birthday.
The Beastie Boys on tour in Los Angeles shortly after the release of their debut album, Licensed to Ill.
A profile of the hardworking Samuel L. Jackson, whose movies have grossed more than any actor’s ever.
On Marilyn Monroe and the pains of post-war America.
“That learning to cook could lead an American woman to success of any kind would have seemed utterly implausible in 1949; that it is so thoroughly plausible 60 years later owes everything to Julia Child’s legacy.”
Neal punctuated Jack’s riffing with his “yesses” and “that’s rights,” head bobbing on his neck like a novice prizefighter’s. After four years of New York nihilism and intellection, Neal – wiping Jack’s face with his handkerchief – Neal – who looked so much like Jack himself, an athlete like Jack – celebrated lover of women and sharer of Allen’s passionate dark soul – finally the long-lost brother who said, “Go ahead, everything you do is great” – “a Western kinsmen of the sun” – “a wild yea-saying over-burst of American joy.”
The life and myth of Neal Cassady, Beat companion and muse for Kesey, Wolfe, Kerouac, Ginsberg, The Grateful Dead and more.
A profile of the eccentric Gene Weingarten, the only person to twice win the Pulitzer for feature writing.
A profile of Robert Caro, who’s been working on a biography on Lyndon Johnson for nearly 40 years.
A profile of Candy Barr–porn star pioneer, burlesque legend, and Texas folk hero.
When we're introduced, I spend a long moment trying to conjugate the reality of James Brown's face, one I've contemplated as an album-cover totem since I was thirteen or fourteen: that impossible slant of jaw and cheekbone, that Pop Art slash of teeth, the unmistakable rage of impatience lurking in the eyes. It's a face drawn by Jack Kirby or Milton Caniff, that's for sure, a visage engineered for maximum impact at great distances, from back rows of auditoriums.
Stylistically speaking, in terms of clothing, they arrived in shirts and pants and shoes (there’s really no other way to say it). They had haircuts, but it didn’t really look it. While other bands were mumbling or over-enunciating their dreary positions or penny-candy philosophies, Pavement kind of screamed for a generation. But they did it in a way that was so deeply American that it was almost Scandinavian.
Playwright Will Eno profiles the band and their cult as they grow up and prepare for a reunion.
A profile of the “acrobatic genius of the trapeze”:
As he spoke, he looked up at the pipes and swings in the arena ceiling. A mechanic was working on the rigging, but Tito spoke thoughtfully, for he seemed to be seeing something else. "Sometimes I see movies of myself in the air and I say, 'Jesus, how can I do that?' I wonder who do I think I am ... but, yes, I do admire myself in films sometimes as if I am watching another person. I have sometimes dreamed my tricks at night, you know, and then tried to master them from the dream."
No one can do that day after day, week after week, for years ... without some rock-hard certainty that can't be milled away by nonsense and stress. He has to know: Why him? And: Why now? ... He has to know that he is The One. And if he's strong enough to keep going-if he's able, smart, and lucky-then, he'll get to the final twist in the road, when things catch fire, he can see how his words make the people feel, he can feel how those words now matter to him. He can make all the difference just by walking into a room. There are thousands of people -- and they want him. He and his campaign fill the lives of people who are almost strangers, and he takes over the life of everyone dear to him. He has to, it's all right -- because it's that important. Now, he knows: Not only should I be President, I am going to be President!
The artist discusses her latest record, Biophilia, science and music education.
Up until she developed a vocal-cord nodule a few years ago, Björk made a point of not investigating how that instrument worked. “With arrangements and lyrics,” she says, squinting over her coffee, “I work more with the left side of my brain. But my voice has always been very right brain. I didn’t try to analyze it at all. I didn’t even know until I started all this voice work, two years ago, what my range was. I didn’t want to let the academic side into that—I worried the mystery would go.”
The Mouth of the South is leading a relatively quiet life.
A pilgrimage to J.D. Salinger’s New Hampshire home:
The silence surrounding this place is not just any silence. It is the work of a lifetime. It is the work of renunciation and determination and expensive litigation. It is a silence of self-exile, cunning, and contemplation. In its own powerful, invisible way, the silence is in itself an eloquent work of art. It is the Great Wall of Silence J.D. Salinger has built around himself.
Few men have acquired so scandalous a reputation as did Basil Zaharoff, alias Count Zacharoff, alias Prince Zacharias Basileus Zacharoff, known to his intimates as “Zedzed.” Born in Anatolia, then part of the Ottoman Empire, perhaps in 1849, Zaharoff was a brothel tout, bigamist and arsonist, a benefactor of great universities and an intimate of royalty who reached his peak of infamy as an international arms dealer -- a “merchant of death,” as his many enemies preferred it.
A profile of Taylor Wilson, who achieved nuclear fusion at age 14.
Before I met Robert Jeffress, I wanted to hate him. Jeffress is the conservative preacher who made national headlines in October, when he called Mormonism a cult. He’s the senior pastor at First Baptist Dallas, the oldest megachurch in America, and I am certainly not a Baptist. He endorsed Rick Perry for president, and I’m definitely no fan of Perry’s. As a matter of fact, Robert Jeffress and I probably disagree on every major political and religious issue. And yet, I really, really like him.
A profile of Maggie Gallagher, founder of National Organization for Marriage.
Why “Father of Botox” Arnold Klein, whose famous clients once included Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor, thinks everyone’s out to get him.
The rise and fall of the Internet mogul.
A profile of the artist.
"Unfortunately, death is a fact of life. I don't think it's happened to me any more unfairly than to anyone else. It could always be worse. I've lost a lot of people, but I haven't lost everybody. I didn't lose my parents or my family. But it's been an incredible education, facing death, facing it the way that I've had to face it at this early age."
As mainstream news loses its relevance, Allred becomes only more relevant to mainstream news. She’s provided thousands of hours of titillating material that has helped keep cable networks from grinding to a halt. The players come and go. Past clients like Amber Frey and Tiger Woods Mistress No. 1 Rachel Uchitel slip back into obscurity. Scott Peterson rots disregarded on death row in San Quentin, and Woods’s sexual escapades no longer mesmerize. But Allred retains her significance. There are always new victims to premiere and promote, new serial sexual harassers or psychopaths to square off against. In this spectacle of scandal, grisly murder, and celebrity wrongdoing, Allred has made herself the stage manager, the content provider, the indispensable performer.
Clarence Thomas, then-chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, profiled by Juan Williams:
He agrees with Reagan's characterization of the civil-rights leaders as old men fomenting discontent to justify their own "rather good positions." "The issue is economics—not who likes you." Thomas has told me. "And when you have the economics, people do have a way of changing their attitudes toward you. I don't see how the civil-rights people today can claim Malcolm X as one of their own. Where does he say black people should go begging the Labor Department for jobs? He was hell on integrationists. Where does he say you should sacrifice your institutions to be next to white people?"
In those final seconds before his patients lose consciousness and die, the words they utter sound like Donald Duck, he says, imitating the high-pitched, nasally squeak familiar to any child who has sucked a gulp from a helium balloon. So, this is how a human being can leave this Earth? Sounding like Donald Duck?
But his greatest presidential stumbling block may be right under his nose. At home, Newt's second wife, Marianne Ginther Gingrich, tells me she doesn't see herself in the First Lady's job. "Watching Hillary has just been a horrible experience," commiserates Marianne. "Hillary sticking her neck out is not working." What happens if Newt runs?, I ask. "He can't do it without me," she replies. "I told him if I'm not in agreement, fine, it's easy" --she giggles at her naughtiness. "I just go on the air the next day, and I undermine everything..."
Norma Claypool earned notoriety for welcoming 15 “hard-to-adopt” children into her Baltimore home. Norma Claypool is also elderly and blind.
A profile of the Russian spy-turned-Maxim covergirl.
Because business ebbs and flows with the seasons and the economy, Holmes, who lives in Upper Marlboro, has always kept a variety of sidelines, including a job driving a limousine for nine years to put his oldest daughter through a private high school and college. These days, at gigs, he hands out a stack of million-dollar "bills" printed with his image and his current enterprises: bandleader, commercial mortgage broker, hard money lender (slogan: "Hard Money with a Soft Touch").
A profile of Carrie Brownstein, riot grrrl and creator of Portlandia.
In the end, Zuckerberg says, quarrels over money rarely come up because money is not their priority. “We’re in a really interesting place because if you look at the assets we have, we’re fucking rich,” Zuckerberg adds. “But if you look at like the cash and the amount of money we have to live with, we’re dirt poor. All the stuff we own is tied up in random assets” like servers and the company itself. “Living like we do now, it’s, like, not that big of a deal for us. We’re not like, Aw man, I wish I had a million dollars now. Because, like, we kind of like living like college students and being dirty. It’s fun."
The same forces that put his family in the slum also gave him the golf course on the other side of the wall, and the teachers and sponsors, and the strange ability to hit a ball with a club. But it still doesn't make sense. Sometimes it seems as if fate is wrestling with itself, making sure the circumstances of his birth are always conspiring to take away whatever gifts might allow him to escape it. He lives in two worlds, each one pulling away from the other. Anil is in the middle, trying to keep his balance.
Frank rarely smiles, even when he’s being funny. “There are three lies politicians tell,” he told the real-estate group. “The first is ‘We ran against each other but are still good friends.’ That’s never true. The second is ‘I like campaigning.’ Anyone who tells you they like campaigning is either a liar or a sociopath. Then, there’s ‘I hate to say I told you so.’ ” He went on, “Everybody likes to say ‘I told you so.’ I have found personally that it is one of the few pleasures that improves with age. I can say ‘I told you so’ without taking a pill before, during, or after I do it.”
A profile of the late actor-turned NRA president:
A figure emerges from the wings, more than six feet tall but appearing shorter, his torso inclined forward. Speedo propylene beach slippers make the journey to the podium with hesitant steps. Hip-replacement surgery and old age have dampened the fabled dynamism: no more battles with broadswords; no more chariot races for him. But above the uncertain legs, the chest is still massive, the cheekbones still chiseled, the broken nose as resolute as the NRA eagle on all those baseball caps bobbing above the crowd. As Charlton Heston approaches the microphone, his lungs swell, the vocal cords making their splendid, vibrant music out of ordinary air. "I'm inclined to quit while I'm ahead," he jokes. "But I won't. No!"
A profile of a breakout male porn star:
The porn machine churns out performers to satisfy every fantasy, be it MILF, dwarf, fat, granny, or gang bang. But if you’re interested in watching a young, heterosexual, nonrepulsive man engage in sex, James Deen is basically it.
A profile of Harold Camping, a Christian radio host who (falsely) predicted the end of the world.
Nearly three decades ago, Mother Jones profiled a rising star in the Republican Party:
The divorce turned much of Carrollton against Gingrich. Jackie was well loved by the townspeople, who knew how hard she had worked to get him elected-as she had worked before to put him through college and raise his children. To make matters worse, Jackie had undergone surgery for cancer of the uterus during the 1978 campaign, a fact Gingrich was not loath to use in conversations or speeches that year. After the separation in 1980, she had to be operated on again, to remove another tumor While she was still in the hospital, according to Howell, "Newt came up there with his yellow legal pad, and he had a list of things on how the divorce was going to be handled. He wanted her to sign it. She was still recovering from surgery, still sort of out of it, and he comes in with a yellow sheet of paper, handwritten, and wants her to sign it.
On the TechCrunch founder’s venture capital fund, and a new breed of startup investor.
As Twitter-loving VC investors have become brand names themselves (Fred Wilson, Marc Andreessen, Chris Sacca), what one might call the auteur theory of venture capitalism has emerged—the idea that startup companies bear the unique creative signature of those who invested in them. To study a venture capitalist’s portfolio is to study his oeuvre.
On conservative radio host John Ziegler and “the strange media landscape in which political talk radio is a salient.”
Thomas Pynchon walks down a New York City street in the middle of the morning. He has a light gait. He floats along. He looks canny and whimsical, like he'd be fun to talk to; but, of course, he's not talking. It's a drizzling day, and the writer doesn't have an umbrella. He's carrying his own shopping bag, a canvas tote like one of those giveaways from public radio. He makes a quick stop in a health-food store, buys some health foods. He leaves the store, but just outside, as if something had just occurred to him, he turns around slowly and walks to the window. Then, he peers in, frankly observing the person who may be observing him. It's raining harder now. He hurries home. For the past half-dozen years, Thomas Pynchon, the most famous literary recluse of our time, has been living openly in a city of 8 million people and going unnoticed, like the rest of us.
One student’s struggle, and the lawsuit that could put an end to a controversial “neutrality policy” in the Minnesota school district.
Portrait of a Chinese-American family living in New York.
Rick Ross was born William Leonard Roberts II in 1976, and he borrowed his stage name (and the associated big-time cocaine-selling hustler persona) from the legendary L.A. drug lord Freeway Ricky Ross. But the website MediaTakeout uncovered a photograph of William Leonard Roberts II when he was a Florida corrections officer. Most people thought that'd be the end of his career. Freeway Ricky Ross then sued him for stealing his name. None of it mattered. Rick Ross the rapper just sold more records.
A profile of lifelong thief and 13-time escapee Chris Gay, aka “Little Houdini.”
The story of the Caughnawagas, “the most footloose Indians in North America,” and their gradual assimilation.
A profile of Michel de Nostradame, better known as Nostradamus.
An interview with Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone writer Vanessa Grigoriadis on the finer points of celebrity profiling.
The CEO of the US’s biggest bank doesn’t have much charisma or a track record, but he’s “doing as well as any little Dutch boy can—sticking his fingers in the dike.”
A profile of Barry Bonds published as the steroid talk intensified.
On the dying city of Port Arthur, Texas, and one man’s fight to save it.
Excerpted from the author’s biography of mathematician Simon Phillips Norton.
A look at the artists and writers who drive for a New York cab company. The story that inspired Taxi.
An attempt to sort out whether Vick is truly a changed man or simply a very gifted football player who was bound to be forgiven.
As editor-in-chief of Variety, Peter Bart was one of the most powerful people in the entertainment industry. This piece got him suspended.
A profile of an up-and-coming director:
Well, according to Woody, his ascent has been a series of painful falls. Success hasn't changed him, Allen insists: he's still a schlemiel. "I'm afraid of the dark and suspicious of the light," he says. "I have an intense desire to return to the womb—anybody's." Ineptitude, Woody goes on, is a family curse.
A profile of Vogue Creative Director André Leon Talley.
From our guide to haute couture genius at Slate.
A profile of under-fire Goldman Sachs Ceo Lloyd Blankfein.
An early profile of Mrs. Murdoch that made her husband very angry.
A profile of Rupert Murdoch, written before his empire began to crumble.
A profile of the hard-living, cop-dodging artist Dash Snow, published two years before his death of an overdose.
The need for a new letter on an old manual machine leads the author to the shop of Martin Tytell, now in his seventh decade as repairman, historian, and high priest of typewriters.
The story of a Marine who saved innumerable lives, then got fired.
A profile of 17-year-old Teresa Scanlan, the newly crowned Miss America.
This past Memorial Day weekend, Steven T. Florio, the president and CEO of Conde Nast Publications, made a dramatic change at The New Yorker, the most illustrious of the 17 magazines he runs for billionaire S.I. "Si" Newhouse Jr. He fired his own brother.
A profile of driver A.J. Foyt on the eve of what was supposed to be his final Indy 500.
A profile of Ludwig Minelli, the head of the Swiss assisted suicide organization Dignitas.
A profile of Arnold Schwarzenegger written during his first year in office as Governor of California:
"You know, the thing I love about Mexican women is how furry their pussies are."
A profile of Maine’s two U.S. senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.
The rise, fall and stubborn survival of a teenage Internet celebrity who discovered that the real world can be a very scary place.
On what you do when you can do whatever what you want.
Let's settle on the bald facts: Eminem has secured his place in the rap pantheon.
On a neuroscientist’s personal mission to solve the mystery of how the brain processes time.
On former Knicks savior Stephon Marbury and his post-NBA life playing in China.
A profile of Carmelo Anthony, newly anointed savior of the New York Knicks.
On Ray Dalio, who built the world’s biggest hedge fund by running it like a cult.
On billionaire financier Lynn Tilton and her quest to become a public figure.
A profile of the “lawyer-turned-journalist-turned-talk-show-host-turned-journalist.”
On David Milch; Yale fraternity brother of George W. Bush, literature professor, longtime junkie, creator of NYPD Blue, Deadwood (which was in production when this profile was written), and the forthcoming racetrack-set HBO series Luck.
A profile of computational biologist Eric Schadt, the guy who’s figuring out what comes next after the Human Genome Project.
A profile of a 25-year-old Spanish sensation.
A profile of Zack Snyder, director of Watchmen, Dawn of the Dead, and the upcoming Superman series.
A profile of the filmmaker Errol Morris as he prepared to release The Thin Blue Line after a decade of limited distribution, semi-poverty, and a side career as a private detective.
On the life and career of Richard Pryor, as he neared the end of both.
A profile of Alex Jones, who draws a bigger online audience than Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh combined.
A profile of the (now former) director of the House of Dior, John Galliano.
The man who brought together heat, yoga, monthly fees to use his methods, and raw sexuality, on allegations that he has slept with scores of his followers: “Only when they give me no choice! If they say to me, ‘Boss, you must fuck me or I will kill myself,’ then I do it! Think if I don’t! The karma!”
A profile of Heather Armstrong, a mom in Salt Lake City who has more than 1.5 million Twitter followers and a personal blog generating $30,000-$50,000 monthly.
A profile of Vova Galchenko, teenage juggling virtuoso and early viral star.
A profile of Jake Plummer, the NFL quarterback who turned down a $5M offer and left the game while still in his prime.
Cathie Black, former magazine executive, currently Bloomberg’s hand-picked Chancellor of New York City schools
A newly minted, 34-year-old White House budget director gets a little too candid with a reporter profiling him during Ronald Reagan’s first year in office. Among Stockman’s many admissions: “None of us really understands what’s going on with all these numbers.”
On Sam Cooke, theme parties, and the importance of McDonald’s-related jingles when street performing.
What has Ted Haggard, who left the New Life megachurch after admitting he purchased crystal meth and sexual favors from a male escort, been doing in the four years since? Selling insurance door to door and then… founding a new church and returning to the pulpit.
A primer on Peretz, longtime owner/editor of The New Republic, committed Zionist, and author of the line “Muslim life is cheap.”
A profile of Jobs. The themes: immortality, relinquishing control, and how being adopted affected his choices for Apple. The lede: “One day, Steve Jobs is going to die.”
A profile of the Time Man of the Year for 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The transfiguration of Jared Loughner.
A profile of the director, written from the set of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
A reporter heads to Istanbul, where Iverson is playing minor league hoops in a 3,200-seat arena and hanging out at T.G.I. Friday’s.
A profile of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, written at the midpoint of his career.
A profile of Esquire features writer Chris Jones. Plus: the Jones archive on Longform.org.
A profile of video game artist Shigeru Miyamoto, the man behind Super Mario Bros.
A profile of 12-year-old actress Elle Fanning, Dakota’s sister.
A profile of Yao Ming published during his second season in the NBA.
The profile that led to the Massey Energy CEO’s resignation.
An interview about why giving interviews is totally worthless.
Randy Quaid and his wife Evi have fled to Canada and are living in their car. They are seeking asylum from the menace of the “Hollywood Star Whackers.”
A profile of Larry David, with a focus on his years as a struggling stand-up. “I was hoping that somehow I could get some kind of cult following and get by with that.”
A review of several books on Rupert Murdoch first criticizes the authors for not grasping the many sides of their subject, then offers a thesis of its own. He’s “not so much a man, or a cultural force, as a portrait of the modern world.”
A “fanatical Lynch fan from way back,” David Foster Wallace visits the set of Lost Highway, never actually talks to the director, and writes a profile.
A profile of Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson, published at the height of the controversy.
A profile of Ernie Adams, Bill Belichick’s mysterious right hand man.
Tony Kushner and the burdens of being one of the last public intellectuals in American theater.
As CEO of HBO, Chris Albrecht was responsible for putting The Wire, The Sopranos, and Sex and the City on the air. Then he choked his girlfriend outside a Vegas casino, got fired, and took a job running Starz.
A profile of Anas Aremeyaw, an investigative journalist in Ghana who’s willing to do anything–and pose as anyone–to get the story.
Four years after a disastrous MTV performance had led him to avoid the public, Rose was back on stage.
Not long ago, Rand Paul, opthalmologist and son of Ron, would have been written off as a wacky extremist. Thanks to his Dad and the Tea Partiers, he’s poised to become the most radical member of the U.S Senate.
Where crazy things seem normal and normal things seem crazy.
Scenes from Madonna’s first major tour and an author struggling to explain the 26-year-old’s massive, surging appeal.
A 2009 profile of the guy behind 4chan, Christoper “moot” Poole, his anonymous army of millions, and how it’s all losing him money.
A profile of Francis Collins, a fervent Christian, former head of the Human Genome Project and Obama’s appointee to head N.I.H., now at the center of the stem cell research debate.
The boyish CEO of America’s largest and most controversial mercenary force, Blackwater, also happened to be a C.I.A. agent.
A profile of the man who helped invent the modern art of presidential spin and came to embody the blurry line between journalist and government official.
A 1993 profile of Ricky Jay, one of the world’s great sleight-of-hand conjurers, historian of unusual entertainments and confidence scams, and bibliomaniac; who rarely performs and never for children.
Christian Audigier is the man behind Von Dutch and Ed Hardy. The massive succes of his garish and expensive creations may say more about the power of celebrity than about fashion.
Soap operas, enrollment in multiple graduate programs at once, student films alongside Hollywood blockbusters. Is James Franco’s entire career a piece of performance art?
Pat Robertson was 29 years old, possessionless, and living in a Bed-Stuy brownstone when he announced that God had told him to buy a fledgling TV station in Virginia. Here’s what happened next.
Erich Spangenberg is in the business of owning other people’s ideas. He makes a fortune.
Inside the bleak world of Joe Francis, the man behind the “Girls Gone Wild” franchise.
In March of 1991, Vanilla Ice had the #1 album in the country (To the Extreme), a movie about to be released (TMNT II: The Secret of the Ooze), and a dogged belief that his 15 minutes weren’t about to end.
How Christopher Hitchens, a former socialist, became one of the most vigorous defenders of the war in Iraq.
A profile of Tom Donohue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the sixth-highest paid lobbyist in the country. Since Obama took office, Donohue has scared-up tens of millions in new donations.
A 1988 profile of Bill Murray, then at the peak of his box office power and living in a secluded farmhouse in the Hudson River Valley.
The contradiction-rich world of Maya Arulpragasam.
How the actor ended up with a house full of tourniquets and syringes, an unflinching belief in the restorative powers of “ozone,” and the brain scan of someone who has “experienced the equivalent of blunt trauma.”
Muhammad Ali and his followers were the greatest show on earth. Then the show ended, and life went on.
Profile of the flip-flop wearing 61-year-old ‘dude’ who turned around a dying company by selling all-American sex to teens – and isn’t apologizing.
Inside the twisted, half-conscious world of Jure Robic, the Slovene soldier who might be the world’s best ultra-endurance athlete.
The struggle behind the making of Terence Malick’s first movie in twenty years and the two producers who, depending on your source, either made it possible or nearly ruined it.
How the daily e-mail from Mike Allen, Politico’s star reporter, has become a morning ritual for Washington’s elite.
According to Lou Dobbs, we’re wrong about his stance on illegal immigrants, wrong about why he quit CNN, and wrong about his presidential aspirations. Well, we might actually be right about that last thing.
At age 17, Bonnie Richardson won the Texas state track team championship all by herself. Then she did it again.
In 1995, the Chicago Reader profiled a little-known professor (and lawyer and philanthropist and author) who had decided to run for office to get back to his true passion: community organizing.
From Stefani Joanne Germanotta to Lady Gaga: the self-invented, manufactured, accidental, totally on-purpose creation of the world’s biggest pop star.