Po Bronson (b. 1964) is an American journalist and author who lives in San Francisco. After attending Lakeside School in Seattle, he graduated from Stanford University in 1986 and briefly worked as an assistant bond salesman in San Francisco.
He abandoned finance to pursue writing, publishing short stories and eventually a comedic novel based upon his bond trading experiences. ‘Bombardiers’ was an international best seller in 1995.
Bronson went on to write articles for ‘The New York Times Magazine’ and other periodicals, but perhaps became best known for his work in ‘Wired’ magazine and other technology-related publications. In the late 1990s, Bronson became a leading chronicler of Silicon Valley in its heyday, writing two more best sellers. The first, ‘The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest,’ was a novel sending up technology start-ups. The second, ‘The Nudist on the Late Shift,’ was a nonfiction portrayal of those who had followed the modern day gold rush to Silicon Valley.
With the collapse of the internet bubble in 2000, and after creating ‘The $treet,’ a short-lived television drama for Fox (again drawing upon his bond trading days), Bronson began searching for a new direction for his career. Realizing he was not alone in this quest, he began to focus on others in similar quandaries.
He spent the next two years working on a new nonfiction book, ‘What Should I Do With My Life?’ which profiles about 50 people, exploring how each had confronted the question. Bronson’s followed-up with ‘Why Do I Love These People?’ The book tells the stories of about 20 people who have had extraordinary experiences with their families. Partly as a result of the research Bronson did for those two books, he became a columnist for ‘TIME’ online.
His columns frequently draw on his research data to challenge arguments that American society is on a moral decline. For example, he argues against the idea that the institution of marriage has disintegrated from an ideal past filled with stable nuclear families. He also argues that most young adults who live with their parents are not slackers, but are working, attending school, and volunteering full time. With co-author Ashley Merryman, he released a book in September 2009 entitled ‘NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children.’ The book discusses theories and scientific aspects of parenting.