USF Sarasota-Manatee to host noted author

Selby Auditorium

Selby Auditorium

SARASOTA, Fla. (Sept. 2, 2015) – He’s edited humor columnist Dave Barry and tackled weighty issues such as 2010’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill. His book “The Hunt for Bin Laden” became the No. 1-selling Kindle single on Amazon.com.

Journalist, writer and editor Tom Shroder has written and edited awarded-winning news articles and books over the course of nearly 40 years. And now he’s coming to USF Sarasota-Manatee.

On Sept. 22, Shroder will kick off this year’s “Knowledge-A-Bull Speaker Series” at USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Selby Auditorium.

If his body of work is any indication, Shroder’s talk – free and open the public – should make for a lively evening. His career included stints at the Cincinnati Enquirer and Miami Herald, including at the Herald’s Tropic magazine. As editor of The Washington Post Magazine from 2001 to 2009 he oversaw Gene Weingarten’s two Pulitzer Prize-winning stories, “Fiddler in the Subway” and “Fatal Distraction.”

Shroder is perhaps best-known for his book “Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal,” which won praise from a host of critics and authors. Kirkus said of it: “A well-respected journalist offers evidence, both empirical and anecdotal, about the therapeutic benefits of psychedelic drugs. … Shroder delivers an important historical perspective on a highly controversial issue in modern medicine.”

In addition to writing, Shroder has built a remarkable resume as a writing coach and editor, collaborating with authors from Dana Priest and Weingarten to Tony Kornheiser, the sports writer and talk show host, and humorist Barry. He co-authored the book “Fire on the Horizon: The Untold Story of the Gulf Oil Disaster” with John Konrad.

Scott Higham, the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, said of Shroder, “Throughout the course of my career as a feature writer and investigative reporter, Tom Shroder stands out as one of the best and brightest long-form editors in the business. He routinely transforms raw copy into award-winning prose with his deft touch, impeccable judgment and mastery of the written word.”

Shroder was born in New York City in 1954, the son of a novelist and a builder, and the grandson of MacKinlay Kantor, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his Civil War novel “Andersonville.” Shroder attended the University of Florida and served as editor of the 22,000-circulation student daily newspaper.

His Sept. 22 talk is set for 5 to 8 p.m.

In addition to Shroder, the Knowledge-A-Bull series will include talks by scientist and author Aubrey De Grey, on Jan. 26, and Jaimie Mayer Phinney, a creative producer, social entrepreneur and philanthropist, on March 2. Notification about additional talks will be made once they have been scheduled.

“The Knowledge-A-Bull Speaker Series was developed to bring world-renowned experts to our campus in order to engage the community in thoughtful discussion,” said Dennis Stover, regional vice chancellor for University Advancement. “We hope that by bringing people like Tom Shroder to the campus that the community will take an opportunity to visit our campus and begin to associate us with these thought-provoking conversations.”

For more information and to RSVP to Tom Shroder’s talk, please visit www.usfsm.edu/series.