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For famous authors like Prince Harry, enlisting a ghostwriter is a no-brainer. So Spare was written with the help of J.R. Moehringer.
"When Penguin Random House announced in July that it would be publishing a memoir by Prince Harry, there was one name that was, conspicuously and appropriately, left off the press release," Rachel Deahl wrote in Publisher's Weekly in November 2021. "The man channeling the Duke of Sussex’s voice for the book, J.R. Moehringer, was nowhere to be found among the details the publisher released. But those in the industry know that Moehringer, one of the highest-profile ghostwriters working, will be an essential component in the royal’s book—even if his name never appears on the final product."
Deahl continues, "For as long as celebrities have been writing books, others have quietly helped them do it. It’s highly specialized work that requires a blend of skills; industry sources say the best collaborators are equal parts editor, reporter, writer, mimic, and shrink."
Here's everything you need to know about Prince Harry's ghostwriter, J.R. Moehringer.
Moehringer is an accomplished journalist.
After graduating from Yale University in 1986, he started working at the New York Times. After, he went to work at Rocky Mountain News in Colorado and then the Los Angeles Times. In 2000, he received the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing, "for his portrait of Gee’s Bend, an isolated river community in Alabama where many descendants of slaves live, and how a proposed ferry to the mainland might change it." (You can read his Pulitzer Prize winning story here.)
Remembering Yale, he told NPR, "My mother and I had nothing, and I arrived as a scholarship student. I could barely afford my books. And my mother, I remember, canceled her subscription to People magazine so that she could send me that money. Times were very rough. And so I had a lot of rough edges as I arrived. I was acutely conscious of that throughout my time at Yale. I mean, I've learned since then that I was not alone, that the most seemingly polished kids in my class felt the same sense of being out of place. I wish someone had told me that then. I wish there had been a way for all of us at Yale to communicate, you know, our sense of alienation and that social awkwardness."
He published his memoir in 2005.
The Tender Bar tells the story of his relationship with his father, Johnny Michaels, a New York City disc jockey who disappeared early in his life. Last year, George Clooney directed an adaptation of The Tender Bar starring Ben Affleck, Tye Sheridan, Christopher Lloyd, and Lily Rabe:
In 2012, he wrote a novel, Sutton, about the bank robber Willie Sutton.
He's ghostwritten for other famous figures before.
"He’s half psychiatrist," Knight said of Moehringer. "He gets you to say things you really didn’t think you would."
Read books written, edited, and ghostwritten by J.R. Moehringer:
He describes himself on Twitter as "author of THE TENDER BAR and SUTTON and other stuff."
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