Tom Shroder has been an award-winning journalist, writer and editor for more than 30 years. His book editing projects include two New York Times bestsellers; Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time (2014), by Brigid Sculte; and Top Secret America (2012), by Dana Priest and William Arkin. As editor of The Washington Post Magazine, he conceived and edited the story, Fatal Distraction, which was awarded the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. He also edited and contributed to Pearls Before Breakfast, which was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. In addition to being an author and editor of narrative journalism, Shroder is one of the foremost editors of humor in the country. He has edited humor columns by Dave Barry, Gene Weingarten and Tony Kornheiser, as well as conceived and launched the internationally syndicated comic strip, Cul de Sac, by Richard Thompson. His latest book, to be published in September, is Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal, a fascinating, transformative look at the therapeutic powers of psychedelic drugs, particularly in the treatment of PTSD, and the past fifty years of scientific, political, and legal controversy they have ignited. His 1999 book Old Souls: Compelling Evidence From Children Who Remember Past Lives, has become a classic of New Age literature. He is also the co-author, with former oil rig captain John Konrad,of Fire on the Horizon: The Untold Story of the Gulf Oil Disaster. It was singled out among all the Gulf oil disaster books by the LA Times, which said it “marries a John McPhee feel for the technology to a Jon Krakauer sense of an adventure turned tragic.” Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm, called it, “one of the best disaster books I have ever read.”
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 where he became Editor of the 22,000 circulation student daily newspaper despite the fact that he was an anthropology major (an affront for which the university’s journalism faculty was slow to forgive him). After graduation in 1976, he wrote national award-winning features for the Fort Myers News Press, the Tallahassee Democrat, The Cincinnati Enquirer and the Miami Herald. At the Herald he became editor of Tropic magazine, which earned two Pulitzer Prizes during his tenure. In that same period, with humorist Barry and novelists Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard, he concocted and edited “Naked Came the Manatee,” a satirical serial novel that became a New York Times bestseller. In addition to Fire on the Horizon, Shroder is the author of “Old Souls: Compelling Evidence From Children Who Remember Previous Lives,” a bestselling consideration of the life and work of Ian Stevenson, a University of Virginia psychiatrist and researcher who spent four decades investigating cases of small children who claimed to remember previous lives; and co-author of “Seeing the Light”, a biography of Everglades naturalist photographer Clyde Butcher. His work “The Hunt for Bin Laden,” edited from 15 years of coverage by The Washington Post, became the #1 selling Kindle Single on Amazon.
Shroder is also known for his creation, along with Barry and Weingarten, of the Tropic Hunt, which has become the Herald Hunt in Miami and the Post Hunt in Washington, a mass-participation puzzle attended by thousands each year.