Sebastian Junger is the author of three New York Times bestselling books: The Perfect Storm (published in hardcover by W. W. Norton & Company in 1997 and HarperCollins in 1998); Fire, a collection of his most compelling magazine articles from his travels throughout the U.S. and around the globe (Norton, 2001; HarperCollins, 2002); and A Death In Belmont (Norton, 2006), about an unsolved forty year old murder in his home town. As a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and as a contributor to ABC News, he has covered major international news stories in Kosovo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Afghanistan. He has been awarded the National Magazine Award and an SAIS Novartis Prize for Journalism.
In 1997, Junger became a fixture in the national media when, as a first-time author, he commanded the New York Times best seller list for over three years with The Perfect Storm, which later set sales records in paperback, and became a major motion picture from Warner Bros. His reporting on Afghanistan in 2000, profiling Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud, became the subject of the National Geographic documentary “Into the Forbidden Zone”. In 2001, his expertise and experience reporting in Afghanistan led him to cover the war as a special correspondent for ABC News and Vanity Fair. In 2007 he went back to Afghanistan, again for ABC News and Vanity Fair, as part of an ongoing series documenting a Platoon of US Soldiers entrenched in the deadly Korengal Valley.
As a print journalist, Junger won the National Magazine Award for reporting for his October 1999 Vanity Fair article, “The Forensics of War.” He has also written for such magazines as Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Outside and Men's Journal. He has reported on the LURD besiegement of Monrovia in Liberia, human rights abuses in Sierra Leone, war crimes in Kosovo, the peacekeeping mission in Cyprus, wildfire in the American West, guerilla war in Afghanistan, and hostage-taking in Kashmir. He has worked as a freelance radio correspondent during the war in Bosnia.
Junger is a native New Englander and a graduate of Wesleyan University. Attracted since childhood to “extreme situations and people at the edges of things,” Junger worked as a high-climber for tree removal companies. After a chainsaw injury, he decided to focus on journalism, primarily writing about people with dangerous jobs, from fire fighting to offshore drilling to commercial fishing (which led, of course, to The Perfect Storm).
In 1998 Junger established The Perfect Storm Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides educational opportunities for children of people in the maritime professions.
He lives in New York City and on Cape Cod.