Bryan Denson
AUTHOR

Bryan Denson

Bryan Denson is a veteran journalist who specializes in telling true stories cinematically. He's happiest when the story plays hard to get, requiring long hours of investigative lock-picking. He then immerses himself deeply in the lives of his subjects, much like a method actor going deep into character, to reveal the souls of their stories. Bryan's 33-year career at five daily newspapers, most recently The Houston Post and The Oregonian/OregonLive, helped uncover scandal in the government’s biggest work program for disabled Americans; pressured the U.S. Air Force to rewrite deadly flight manual instructions for its primary transport plane; and exposed wasteful and duplicative efforts to clone monkeys at a national primate lab. His stories also have laid bare Social Security’s glacial process of awarding disability benefits to those who desperately need them while wasting billions on those who don’t. Bryan’s award-winning series, “The Slaying of a Generation,” chronicled a 300 percent increase in the gunfire deaths of Houston's African-American teens in the early 1990s. His work has explained how an FBI agent's myopic supervision of a multiple-murder investigation inadvertently caused the rape of a teen-age girl. It showed how a small-town police department wrote $1 million in speeding tickets in just six months on a patch of highway outside its jurisdiction. And his series "Death Without Decorum" uncovered horrifying abuses by funeral home operators across the Lone Star State. Bryan's award-winning narrative “Grave Injustice” explored the global black market for Native American antiquities through the prism of Jack Lee Harelson, the most prolific looter and grave robber in the American West. Harelson’s crimes – including the attempted murder-for-hire of a business partner, two judges, and the cop who brought him to justice – was the subject of a truTV special: “Grave Robber.” The Spy’s Son, Bryan's first book, takes readers deep into life inside a dysfunctional CIA family, a federal prison, and into the colorful world of spies and spy catchers on four continents. The book was released by The Atlantic Monthly Press on May 5, 2015, and is now for sale in North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, The Netherlands, Estonia, Japan, and soon in Russia. Film rights were purchased by Paramount Pictures, then Cross Creek Pictures. The book also was featured on the award-winning podcast Snap Judgment. Bryan's FBI Files book series for middle grade readers (published by Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan Publishers) follows agents as they go up against some of America's most notorious criminals: The Unabomber: Agent Kathy Puckett and the Hunt for a Serial Bomber (2019); Catching a Russian Spy: Agent Leslie G. Wiser Jr. and the Case of Aldrich Ames (2020); and Uncovering a Terrorist: Agent Ryan Dwyer and the Case of the Portland Bomb Plot (2020). Bryan has been awarded scores of national and regional journalism honors. He is a winner of the George Polk Award and the Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Award, and he was a finalist for The Pulitzer Prize in national reporting. Denson also was a finalist for the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, a second-place finisher in The Society for Features Journalism for news series and projects, and an honorable mention for the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. The Spy's Son, Bryan's first book, was a finalist for the William E. Colby Award, and his book on the Unabomber was named a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. He lives in Portland, Oregon, where he now contributes stories to Newsweek and other magazines and serves as a special correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. His stories have also appeared in Maxim, Reader's Digest, All About Beer, and Running Times. Bryan's media consulting business, BDMC, prepares lawyers for interviews with journalists. You can find some of Bryan's work -- and his musings about the art and craft (and the terror and crushing humility) of slinging words for a living -- on his website: www.bryandenson.com
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