Steven Pressfield

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Steven Pressfield
File:Author Steven Pressfield, June 2011.JPG
Author Steven Pressfield, June 2011
Born 1943 (age 77–78)
Port of Spain, Trinidad
Genre Historical fiction
Military fiction
Notable works The Legend of Bagger Vance
Gates of Fire
The Afghan Campaign

Steven Pressfield (September 1943— ) is an American author, of historical fiction and non-fiction, and screenplays.


He was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in 1943, while his father was stationed there, in the Navy. He graduated from Duke University in 1965 and in 1966 joined the Marine Corps.[1] In the years following, he worked as an advertising copywriter, schoolteacher, tractor-trailer driver, bartender, oilfield roustabout, attendant in a mental hospital, fruit-picker in Washington state, and screenwriter.[1] His struggles to make a living as an author, including the period when he was homeless and living out of the back of his car, are detailed in his book The War of Art.[1]

His first book, The Legend of Bagger Vance, was published in 1995, and made into a film of the same name, starring Will Smith, Charlize Theron, and Matt Damon, and directed by Robert Redford.[2]

His second novel, Gates of Fire, is about the Spartans and the battle at Thermopylae. It is taught at the U.S. Military Academy,[3] the United States Naval Academy, and the Marine Corps Basic School at Quantico.[4][5]

In 2012, he launched the publishing house Black Irish Books with his agent Shawn Coyne.[6]


File:Gates of Fire, U.S. paperback edition.jpg
Front cover for the U.S. paperback edition of Gates of Fire


Online series

Film work

Prior to publishing his first original works of fiction, Pressfield wrote several Hollywood screenplays including King Kong Lives, 1988's Above the Law starring Steven Seagal and directed by Andrew Davis, 1992’s Freejack, a work of science fiction starring Emilio Estevez, Mick Jagger, and Anthony Hopkins, and 1993's Joshua Tree (a.k.a. Army of One) starring Dolph Lundgren and George Segal. Joshua Tree was directed by Academy Award and Bafta winning stuntman Vic Armstrong.

His novel The Legend of Bagger Vance was made into a 2000 film starring Matt Damon as the golf pro and Will Smith as his spiritual guide.

Steven Pressfield also appeared as one of the historians in The History Channel's 2007 documentary "Last Stand of the 300" and a commentator on an episode of the History Channel’s “Decisive Battles” series featuring Alexander the Great on July 30, 2004.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Pressfield, Steven. "About". Retrieved May 2, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "The Legend of Bagger Vance". Retrieved June 12, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Samet, Elizabeth D. (September 30, 2007). "Matriculation: In the Valley of the Shadows". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Pressfield, Steven. "About". Retrieved June 15, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Perry, Tony (June 28, 2008). "Hunting 'the Desert Fox'". Los Angeles Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Pressfield, Steven. "Announcing Turning Pro". Retrieved June 12, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Steven Pressfield: Exploring Ancient Greece through Fiction".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  • Pressfield, Steven. (2012 ed.). "War of Art". New York/Los Angeles: Black Irish Books. ISBN 978-1-936891-02-3
  • Pressfield, Steven. (2012 ed.). "Turning Pro". New York/Los Angeles: Black Irish Books. ISBN 978-1936891-03-0

External links