Laura Hillenbrand was born in Fairfax, Virginia on May 15, 1967. She studied at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, but was forced to leave before graduation because she contracted chronic fatigue syndrome. She has been writing about history and thoroughbred racing since 1988 and has been a contributing writer and editor at Equus magazine since 1989. Her work has appeared in many other publications including The New Yorker, American Heritage, ABC Sports Online, Thoroughbred Times, Talk, and The Backstretch. Her 1998 American Heritage article on Seabiscuit won her an Eclipse Award for outstanding feature article. In 2004, she won the National Magazine Award for the New Yorker article, A Sudden Illness. Her first book Seabiscuit: An American Legend won the Book Sense Nonfiction Book of the Year Award and the William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 2001. She served as a consultant on the Universal Pictures movie Seabiscuit, which was based on her book. Her second book, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, a biography of World War II hero Louis Zamperini, was also made into a movie. She was honored by the Turf Publicists of America for her contributions to the sport of thoroughbred racing with the 36th annual Big Sport of Turfdom award, making her just the fifth woman to win the award. (Bowker Author Biography) — biography from Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption… (more)
Laura Hillenbrand (born May 15, 1967) is an American author of books and magazine articles. Her two bestselling nonfiction books, Seabiscuit: An American Legend (2001) and Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (2010), have sold over 13 million copies, and each was adapted for film. Her writing style is distinct from New Journalism, dropping "verbal pyrotechnics" in favor of a stronger focus on the story itself.
Hillenbrand fell ill in college and was unable to complete her degree. She shared that experience in an award-winning essay, A Sudden Illness, published in The New Yorker in 2003. Her books were written while she was disabled by that illness. In a 2014 interview, Bob Schieffer said to Laura Hillenbrand: "To me your story – battling your disease... is as compelling as his (Louis Zamperini's) story."