Malcolm Gladwell — Off the Beaten Path

Formerly the student body president at the University of Texas at Austin, Thor Lund also served as a technology analyst at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in Houston. Thor Lund facilitated data transfers to gas and oil traders.

A dedicated reader, Lund enjoyed a book by Malcolm Gladwell entitled Outliers: The Story of Success. Gladwell has written four books, often based on his articles for the New Yorker, where he is a staff writer. All four volumes have made the New York Times bestseller list.

Born in England in 1963, Gladwell moved to Ontario, Canada at age six. His father taught engineering and mathematics; Gladwell followed him frequently to libraries, which gave the young Gladwell a taste for literature.

His grades were insufficient for graduate school, so Gladwell instead sought a career in advertising. This goal did not pan out, so he took a writing position at the American Spectator. He also contributed to Insight on the News, before finding a job at the Washington Post as a business and science writer.

Gladwell was hired at the New Yorker in 1996; his articles on social psychology and sociology caught on with readers. He adapted two stories into his first book, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference. He followed up on its success with Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Outliers, and What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures.

Gladwell has won several honors, including the American Sociological Association’s first Award for Excellence in the Reporting of Social Issues. He has also received honorary degrees from the Universities of Toronto and Waterloo, Canada. Gladwell also contributes to Grantland, a sports website.

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