In 25 years, Michael and his team wrote, edited, or ghostwrote more than 700 books, of which...
Eighteen are national best sellers,
Two are New York Times best sellers, and
One is an Amazon Kindle number one best selling business book.
He is a regular columnist for Forbes.com, the New York Daily News, Huffington Post, and FoxNews.com, where many of his pieces have attracted more than one million readers.
Michael appeared on the first episode of Season Three of ABC’s Shark Tank, is a regular contributor to Huffington Post, and is most proud of having edited Zig Ziglar’s final book, Born To Win.
He has appeared on Fox News and BBC worldwide TV and radio, has been quoted in Inc. Magazine, in BloombergBusiness, and in Tim Ferriss’ best seller, The Four Hour Body.
Michael has co-written with:
Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield / Football broadcasting legend Pat Summerall / Hollywood publicist Howard Bragman / Former Schwab CEO David Pottruck / E-Myth creator Michael Gerber / Three-time Super Bowl winner Chad Hennings of the Dallas Cowboys / Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp founder David Fishof / Fox Sports Broadcaster Chris Myers NBA star / Doug Christie / FBI undercover agent Joaquin Garcia / Marketing legend Jay Abraham / NFL star running back Maurice Jones-Drew / Michael has co-written with NFL star running back Benjamin Watson
He has also published five of his own novels - three with Simon & Schuster and two with Putnam/Berkley.
Michael’s Work Has Been Optioned And/Or Made For Film and TV by:
Steven Soderbergh/Paramount, HBO, Disney (became Model Behavior, a Sunday Night ABC Disney Movie of the Week), ABC (a novel Michael ghostwrote became an ABC network series), Frank Perry, Various independent producers.
Major New York Publishers
Michael Has Published With:
Simon & Schuster/Scribner/Touchstone (five books), Random House (three books), Readers Digest Books (two books), St. Martin’s Press, Beacon Press, Hay House, Penguin (five books), Putnam/Berkley (two novels), John Wiley & Sons, BenBella Books.
Michael Has Also Contributed To:
The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, FoxNews.com, Forbes.com, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, The Boston Globe, Huffington Post, Jerusalem Post, Writers Digest, CBS News, ESPN New York, Orange County Register, California Political Review, Buzz Magazine, and Human Events.
Michael’s books have received outstanding reviews in these top outlets:
The New York Times (daily and Sunday), Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, People Magazine, Fortune/CNN Money, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Esquire, Newsweek, San Francisco Examiner, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist.
Education and Public Service
He is an Amherst College graduate, a Columbia Law School-trained attorney and a non-practicing member of the Massachusetts Bar. He served for many years as a member of the prestigious Authors Guild Council and as Treasurer of the Authors Guild Foundation.
Public Speaking and Teaching
UCLA Writers Program Instructor, 1990-2001; 2018
New York University Writers Program Instructor, 1997-2000
Disney Executives conference at Walt Disney World, 2012
NBC and WB Television Networks - seminars on creativity
Loeb & Loeb Law Firm, Los Angeles
Taught day-long writing seminars for Continuing Legal Education around the United States, 2003-2005
Garrett Gunderson Wealth Program, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2016
T. Harv Eker’s “Never Work Again” event in Sydney, Australia in July, 2011
Shared the speaker platforms with four legendary figures: Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People; Mark Victor Hansen, originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series; quarterback and business leader Fran Tarkenton; and marketing guru Jay Abraham at Jay’s Reunion 2008 event at the Los Angeles Convention Center
Good Morning, America / BBC Worldwide Radio and TV / Fox News / Fox Business News / Howard Cosell: Speaking of Everything / WGN Chicago / WBZ Boston / New York Public Radio (Leonard Lopate show) / Dozens of radio programs around the country
Michael and his wife Suzanne have been married for 20 years and are raising their four children in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Athletics: A distance athlete, since age 44, Michael has completed 39 long distance races – including 16 marathons, six triathlons, 13 half-marathons, and two duathlons. He will again run in the Boston Marathon in 2019 (his 8th Boston Marathon run, including the disrupted marathon in 2013). In his Boston Marathon runs, he has raised more than $100,000 for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
He has served as a guide runner for runners with disabilities: for Achilles International in the 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, for New York City Marathons, and in the 2013 Los Angeles Marathon. He has completed half-marathons on three continents.
Music and the arts: Michael has performed for years with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in Boston’s Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Tanglewood. He has also sung with many chamber groups, including Musica Sacra of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Zamir Chorale of Newton, Mass.
In 2017, he sang Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Ode to Joy, on three continents: in London with the Royal Philharmonia Orchestra and Royal Philharmonia Chorus at Royal Festival Hall, in Boston with the Landmarks Orchestra at the Hatch Shell, and in Jerusalem with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.
People frequently ask me how I started my first ghostwriting company. I’d like to tell you that I had a master plan, but that’s not exactly how things happened. I received my J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1985 and went to work as an attorney in Boston. There were only two problems - I didn’t like being a lawyer, and I kept failing the Bar. And this is in Massachusetts, where the only people who regularly fail the Bar aside from me...are the Kennedys.
Two years after graduating from Columbia, I was all but unemployable in Boston’s tight-knit legal community. No matter - I was in my late twenties, had minimal financial responsibilities (aside from student loans, of course), and had already sold three books, including two novels to Simon & Schuster. I figured that if I didn’t try to make it as a writer now, I never would.
Unfortunately, within four years, at the same time that my Columbia classmates were making partners at their firms, I was a starving writer…literally. I was dead broke, and actually qualified for heating assistance in Massachusetts, because my annual income was so low. Sixteen years ago, I met a man who became my business mentor and one of my best friends to this day. A highly successful restaurant owner, he told me that he had mentored a lot of creative people and that “You can’t do your best creative work when you’re wondering about how you’re going to pay your rent or put food on the table.”
He sat me down in the Dunkin’ Donuts in Cleveland Circle and showed me how to value my time in a business sense. He suggested that I offer private writing classes, because that would keep me involved with what I loved, writing, and would also bring in enough money to pay for my life so that I could keep on pursuing my dream of making it as a published author.
I rented space in a yoga studio, bought a whiteboard and chairs, created fliers, and traipsed around the city of Boston, sticking my fliers in every store that would let me, while listening to Steven Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People” on my Walkman. I initially offered two six-week classes at $150 per student. I filled the classes, taught them, and the two classes became four, and then six, and then eight, and I was now running a successful teaching business. The best news of all was that I still had time to write, and I wasn’t starving anymore!
In addition to teaching my own private classes, I was flying out to Southern California three times a year to teach writing classes at UCLA, and before long, I received an invitation to teach writing at New York University as well. My students began to ask me to consult with them on their manuscripts, and soon after, they also invited me to co-write or ghostwrite their books for them.
At the same time, my own writing career took off, and over the years, I have published a total of six novels, including three with Simon & Schuster and two with Putnam/Berkley, and nonfiction books with a variety of other publishers. My own work has been published by Simon & Schuster, Random House, St. Martin’s Press, Beacon Press, Regnery, and a variety of other top publishers. I have also written articles for The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CBS News, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, and a variety of other top outlets.
I ghostwrote my first book in 1986 while still in “starving writer” phase. Since then, the writers on my team, myself included, have ghostwritten more than 700 books for our clients, who come from the fields of finance, entrepreneurship, consulting, health care, technology, real estate, psychology, body/mind/spirit, and other fields.
Along the way, Disney optioned and made one of my novels into an ABC Sunday Night TV movie, Model Behavior. My wife and I were on our honeymoon in Hawaii when the movie was being shot in Toronto, so we cut short our time in Hawaii, flew to Toronto, and became extras in the movie. We only appear for a couple of seconds, but it’s long enough for our kids to get a big kick out of seeing us.
I’ve also had the privilege of working with many celebrities, top athletes, and extraordinary individuals, including FBI super-agent Joaquin Garcia, with whom I wrote the New York Times bestseller, Making Jack Falcone.
That book tells the true story of Garcia’s experiences of spending two and a half years undercover with the Mafia while working four other major undercover cases at the same time. While juggling five different identities, as well as his marriage and family, my co-author was only two weeks away from being proposed for full membership in the Mafia when the FBI pulled him off the case, mostly for bureaucratic reasons. Steven Soderbergh and Paramount bought the film/television rights to Garcia’s story, and Soderbergh has repeatedly renewed the option, most recently in March 2017.
Along the way, I appeared on Shark Tank, the BBC and Fox News, worked with Pat Summerall on a book about being coached by Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi in the 1958 NFL season, edited Zig Ziglar’s final book and got to have lunch with him, and have done a lot of really cool things as a book guy.
So that’s where things stand now. I sold my ghostwriting business in April 2018 and have since started a small, boutique-y ghostwriting firm, Michael Levin Writing Company. Today, my new team and I have the unique privilege of serving a fascinating variety of highly successful, deeply knowledgeable individuals. Like you!