Journalist Jon Krakauer is most widely known for Into Thin Air, his account of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. Born in Crovallis, Oregon, Krakauer graduated from Hampshire College and then spent his time as a carpenter and commercial salmon fisherman in locales such as Colorado and Alaska before pursuing a career as a journalist. In May 1996 Krakauer joined an expedition to summit Mt. Everest. A storm blanketed the peak after they successfully reached the summit. And on the descent, four of five of Krakauer's teammates died. An analysis of the calamity that he wrote for Outside received the National Magazine Award for Reporting in 1996. The book that followed, Into Thin Air, became a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into 24 languages. It was also honored as the "Book of the Year" by Time, one of the "Best Books of the Year" by the New York Times Book Review, a finalist for a 1997 National Book Critics Circle Award, and one of three finalists for the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in General Non-Fiction. In 1999 Krakauer received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is also the author of the Outside feature "Death of an Innocent," the tragic tale of Chris McCandless, which later expanded into the book Into the Wild. He is also the author of Eiger Dreams and most recently, Under the Banner of Heaven, an examination of the nature of religious passion through the lens of Mormon Fundamentalism.
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