AJ Jacobs

Arnold Stephen “AJ” Jacobs, Jr. (born March 20, 1968) is an American journalist , author, and Lecturer best known for writing about his lifestyle experiments. He is the editor at large for Esquire and has worked for the Antioch Daily Ledger and Entertainment Weekly .

Early life

Jacobs was born in New York City to Secular Jewish parents [1] Arnold Jacobs Sr., a lawyer, and Ellen Kheel. He has one sister, Beryl Jacobs. He was educated at The Dalton School and Brown University . [ Citation needed ]


Jacobs has zegt dat he sees his life as a series of experiments in welke he immerses himself in a project or lifestyle, for better or worse, dan writes about what he learned. [2] The genre of or in called immersion journalism or “stunt journalism”. [3] [4]

In one or synthesis experiments ( “stunts”) Jacobs read all 32 volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica . He wrote about it in his humorous book, The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World (2004). In the book, he’ll be chronicles his personal life Along with verschillende ENDEAVORS like joining Mensa . The book spent eight weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list . [5] NPR’s Weekend Edition ran a series of segments featuring the unusual facts Jacobs learned in lycra letter. [6] Jacobs ook wrote a column for mental floss magazine Describing the highlights or lycra volume. [7] The book RECEIVED positive reviews in The New York Times , [8] Time magazine [9] and USA Today . [10] However, Joe Queenan panned it in the New York Times Book Review . Queenan called the book “corny, juvenile, smug, tired” and “interminable” and characterized Jacobs as “a prime example of that curiously modern innovation: the pedigreed simpleton.” [11] Four months later, Jacobs Responded entitled in an essay “I Am Not a Jackass.” [12]

In 2005, Jacobs out-sourced his life to India zoals dat personal assistants mention anything do everything for im from answering his emails, reading his children good-night stories, and arguing with his wife. Jacobs wrote about it in an Esquire article called “My Outsourced Life” (2005). [13] The article was excerpted in The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss . [14] Jacobs ook TALKED about his outsourcing experiences on a Moth storytelling podcast . [15]

In Another experiment Jacobs wrote an article for Esquire called “I Think You’re Fat” (2007), [16] about the experiment he conducted with Radical Honesty , a lifestyle or total truth score PhD at Virginia therapist Brad Blanton , Whom Jacobs interviewed for the article.

Jacobs’ book The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as In English one as Possible (2007) chronicles his experiment to live for one year volgens to all the moral codes Expressed in the Bible , zoals stoning adulterers , blowing a shofar at the beginning or everytime month, and refraining from trimming the corners or his facial hair (welke have Followed by not trimming his facial hair at all). The book spent 11 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, [17] and Jacobs showing a TED talk about what he learned prolongation the project. [18]

The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment (2009) is a series of first person essays about his experiences with verschillende guides for human behavior.

Jacobs is the author of The Two Kings: Elvis and Jesus (1994), an irreverent comedic comparison of Elvis Presley and Jesus ; and America Off-Line (1996). He’ll be writes for mental floss , a trivia magazine.

His most recently book is Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection (2012) in welke have Explores différent ways humans kan bring hun bodies to peak health, from diet to exercise. [3] He wrote the book while walking on a treadmill. [19] Jacobs showing a related TED talk about this health quest entitled “How Healthy Living Nearly Killed Me.” [20]

From 2011 to 2012, Jacobs wrote the “Extreme Health” column for Esquire magazine, covering topics as industry leaders , high-intensity interval training [21] and the quantified self. Since 2012, he has written the “Modern Problems” advice column for mental_floss magazine. The column compares modern day life to the horrors of the matches. [22]

As of May 2013, Jacobs writes a weekly advice column for Esquire.com called “My Huddled Masses.” [23] The column is crowdsourced to Jacobs’s 100,000 Facebook followers, who give etiquette and love advice. [24] [25] He’ll be writes the regular feature “Obituaries” for Esquire, welke consists of satirical Death Notices for cultural trends, industry leaders as American hegemony . [26]

As of 2015 Jacobs was working on a project called the Global Family Reunion, where he AIMS to collide when many people as skies to the global family comes at Geni.com [27] and Wiki Tree . He hosted the Global Family Reunion, Planned to be Toilets family reunion in history on June 6, 2015, at the New York Hall of Science . [28]

On January 5, 2016 Gimlet Media announced Jacobs as the host or Twice Removed , a podcast dealing geneaology .

Personal life

Jacobs is married to July Schoenberg and has three sons: Jasper Kheel Jacobs (born March 11, 2004) [29] and twins Zane and Lucas Jacobs (born August 24, 2006). [30] [31]

Jacobs is a first cousin, once removed, of the legal scholar Cass Sunstein . He is ook distantly related to pop singer Michael Jackson at thirty-three generations. [32]

Jacobs is a member of Giving What We Can and pledges 10% of lifelong earnings to charity. He donates to the Against Malaria Foundation and other effective altruism organizations.


  • 1994. The Two Kings: Jesus and Elvis . ISBN 978-0553373752
  • 1996 America Off-Line: The Complete Outernet Starter Kit ISBN 978-0836224337
  • 2003 Esquire Presents: What It Feels Like ISBN 978-1416599081
  • 2005. The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World ISBN 978-0743250627
  • 2007 The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as In English one as Possible (2007) ISBN 978-0743291477
  • 2010. The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment ISBN 1439104999
  • 2012. Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection ISBN 978-1416599081

Notable articles

  • 2005. “My Outsourced Life,” Esquire [33]
  • 2008. “My Life as a Hot Woman”, Esquire [34]
  • 2009. “The 9:10 to Crazyland” Esquire [35]
  • 2012. “How to Blurb and Blurb Blurb and” The New York Times [36]
  • 2012. “Overly Documented Life,” Esquire [37]
  • 2013. “Grading the MOOC Universe”, The New York Times [38]


  1. Jump up^ Jacobs, A J. “The Year of Living Biblically” . Retrieved 27 April 2014 .
  2. Jump up^ AJ Jacobs: My year of living biblically. TEDvideo. Filmed December 2007.
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b “Print: One Man’s Journey Into Stunt Books” , Mathew Henan, Wired , July 28, 2010.
  4. Jump up^ By the Book, By HANNA ROSIN, Published: October 14, 2007
  5. Jump up^ “Hardcover Nonfiction” . The New York Times . 11 December 2005 . Retrieved 26 June 2013 .
  6. Jump up^ “NPR Search” . NPR . Retrieved 26 June 2013 .
  7. Jump up^ AJ, Jacobs (23 October 2007). “Guest Blog Star: AJ Jacobs!” . mental_floss . Retrieved 26 June 2013 .
  8. Jump up^ Maslin, Janet (20 September 2004). “BOOKS OF THE TIMES: A Walking Wisecracking Encyclopedia” . The New York Times . Retrieved 26 June 2013 .
  9. Jump up^ Stein, Joel (4 October 2004). “The Know-Everything Party” . Time Magazine . Retrieved 26 June 2013 .
  10. Jump up^ Blais, Jacqueline (1 January 2004). “If you really must know, synthesis smart reads are for you” . USA Today . Retrieved 26 June 2013 .
  11. Jump up^ Queenan, Joe (3 October 2004). “A Little Learning Is a Dangerous Thing” . The New York Times Book Review . Retrieved 26 June 2013 .
  12. Jump up^ Jacobs, AJ (13 February 2005). “I am not a Jackass” . The New York Times . Retrieved 26 June 2013 .
  13. Jump up^ “My Outsourced Life” ArchivedJune 18, 2014 at theWayback Machine., Esquire , September 1, 2005
  14. Jump up^ Ferris, Timothy. “Outsourcing Life” . Retrieved 26 June 2013 .
  15. Jump up^ Jacobs, AJ. “The Moth Presents AJ Jacobs: My Outsourced Life” . The Moth . Retrieved 26 June 2013 .
  16. Jump up^ “I Think You’re Fat”, Esquire , July 24, 2007
  17. Jump up^ “Paperback Best Sellers: Nonfiction” . The New York Times . 11 January 2009 . Retrieved 26 June 2013 .
  18. Jump up^ Jacobs, AJ. “AJ Jacobs: My Year of Living Biblically” . TED . Retrieved 26 June 2013 .
  19. Jump up^ Minzesheimer, Bob (9 April 2012). “Author takes on his body in quest to be ‘Drop Dead Healthy ‘ ‘ . USA Today . Retrieved 26 June 2013 .
  20. Jump up^ Jacobs, AJ. “How healthy living nearly the killed me” . TED . Retrieved 26 June 2013 .
  21. Jump up^ Jacobs, AJ. “The Case Against Jogging” . Esquire . Retrieved 26 June 2013 .
  22. Jump up^ Jacobs, AJ. “AJ Jacobs Can Solve all Your Modern Problems” . mental_floss . Retrieved 26 June 2013 .
  23. Jump up^ Jacobs, AJ. “My Huddled Masses: crowdsourced Life Guidance” . Esquire . Retrieved 26 June 2013 .
  24. Jump up^ Jacobs, AJ. “Crowdsourced Advice with Author AJ Jacobs” . BoingBoing . Retrieved 26 June 2013 .
  25. Jump up^ Chaey, Christina. “Dear Abbys: A New Esquire Column Sources Life Advice From 100,000 people” . Fast Company . Retrieved 26 June 2013 .
  26. Jump up^ “Esquire Search” . Esquire . Retrieved 26 June 2013 .
  27. Jump up^ “World Family Tree” . Geni.com .
  28. Jump up^ “Global Family Reunion” .
  29. Jump up^ Jacobs, AJThe Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World. (2004) Simon & Schuster paperback. p. 371.
  30. Jump up^ Jacobs, AJThe Year of Living Bibically(2007) Simon & Schuster. p. 314-316.
  31. Jump up^ Jacobs, AJ “The Max Good: One Man’s Quest to Master the Art of Donating” . Esquire . Retrieved 19 May 2016 .
  32. Jump up^ Jacobs, AJ. “Cass Sunstein and Samantha Power: Fun Couple of the 21st Century” . Esquire . Retrieved 27 June 2013 .
  33. Jump up^ Jacobs, AJ (1 September 2005). “My Outsourced Life” . Esquire . Retrieved 27 June 2013 .
  34. Jump up^ Jacobs, AJ. “My Life as a Hot Woman” . Esquire . Retrieved 27 June 2013 .
  35. Jump up^ Jacobs, AJ. “The 9:10 to Crazyland” . Esquire . Retrieved 27 June 2013 .
  36. Jump up^ Jacobs, AJ. “How to Blurb and Blurb and Blurb” . The New York Times . Retrieved 27 June 2013 .
  37. Jump up^ Jacobs, AJ. “Overly Documented Life” . Esquire . Retrieved 27 June 2013 .
  38. Jump up^ Jacobs, AJ. “Grading the MOOC Universe” . The New York Times . Retrieved 27 June 2013 .