This episode originally aired Nov. 30, 2021.
"William Novak had the career I hadn't even known I wanted," host Daniel Paisner says of this episode's guest, who for a time seemed to have his have his hand in every major celebrity autobiography on bookstore shelves.
Starting with the publication of the genre-defining best-seller Iacocca, by Lee Iacocca—the best-selling book of 1984 and 1985—Novak embarked on a string of collaborations on some of the biggest books of the next decade, including Earvin "Magic" Johnson's My Life, Nancy Reagan's My Turn, Lt. Colonel Oliver North's Under Fire, and Tip O'Neill's Man of the House. In fact, Novak was so busy during this period that he actually turned down the opportunity to work with both Ronald Reagan and Nelson Mandela—an astonishing turn for a writer who candidly admits he was a little out of his element when he got the Iacocca assignment, as he struggled to realize that his job was not to write about Iacocca, as a journalist might, but to help the former Chrysler chairman "write the book about himself, based on how he sees himself."
Join us on this episode of As Told To: The Ghostwriting Podcast as we visit with the writer who helped to bring the work of the ghostwriter out of the shadows and into the light.
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