Eric Blehm grew up on a ranch northeast of San Diego and graduated from San Diego State University in 1994 with a journalism degree (and a minor in outdoor recreation). Following college, he edited the world’s most popular snowboarding magazine, TransWorld SNOWboarding, for five years as he began a career as a magazine writer with stories in Outside, GQ, Men’s Journal, Backpacker, Climbing, Couloir, Hemispheres, and the Los Angeles Times.
Encouraged by classic adventure novels like Call of the Wild, Treasure Island, and Robinson Crusoe, which he read voraciously as a child, he soon developed a reputation for following stories to remote and dangerous environments—snowboarding the rugged mountains of Iran, searching for plane wrecks in California’s High Sierra backcountry, retracing lost miners’ routes in the deserts of Death Valley. He credits The Swiss Family Robinson as the first book that made him want to be a writer, especially one who aspires to lead readers into the fascinating depths of adventure and travel.
His detailed reporting of the disappearance of legendary National Park Service ranger Randy Morgenson in The Last Season, which won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award for best nonfiction book of 2006 by a new author, made Blehm a recognized voice in the search-and-rescue community. The Last Season was named by Outside magazine as one of the ten “greatest adventure biographies ever written.”
The Only Thing Worth Dying For is the result of more than three years of investigation into the first Special Forces mission in southern Afghanistan and the ensuing firefights that brought about the fall of the Taliban and the rise of Hamid Karzai. By winning the trust of the Green Beret team tasked with the mission, ODA 574, as well as the family members of the men on that team killed in action, Blehm revealed in extraordinary detail how U.S. soldiers helped foment a rebellion among the Pashtun tribe from behind enemy lines. His access into the Special Operations community began in 1999 with a story in P.O.V. magazine, wherein he kept pace with an elite unit of Army Rangers during a training mission. That introduction to an exclusive group of men, normally closed to “outsiders” led Blehm to the previously untold story you now hold in your hands.
In addition to his New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling books of nonfiction, Blehm is the author of the new illustrated children’s nonfiction book Molly The Owl and co-publisher of Molly the Owl Books, an independent publishing company that creates “Inspiring Adventures for Kids of All Ages.” He lives in Southern California with his wife and children, and is currently at work on a book that combines the genres of The Last Season and The Only Thing Worth Dying For: wilderness survival and military history.