Stanford to Niger to Los Angeles
Gene Stone graduated from Stanford University and received his masters in English Literature from Harvard University. He then joined the Peace Corps, and spent two years in the Republic of Niger in West Africa. Returning to his home state of New York, he became an editor at Harcourt Brace, where he edited a wide range of books, including Patricia Bosworth’s biography of Montgomery Clift. He then worked at Bantam Books, where he helped launch its hardcover division by acquiring such books as Albert Goldman’s biography of John Lennon and Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s autobiography. Next, he worked as a senior editor at Esquire Magazine, editing authors ranging from Alan Furst and Bobbie Ann Mason to Michael Kinsley and Joel Kotkin. He then moved to Los Angeles, where he was west coast editor of Simon & Schuster, a consulting editor at The Los Angeles Times, and editor in chief of California Magazine.
Physicists and doctors
In 1988 Stone began a career as a writer and ghostwriter. He wrote for many national magazines, including New York, Esquire, GQ, and Vogue, but eventually dedicated his livelihood to books. He has ghost- or co-written more than thirty books with a diverse group of people, including theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, former Yahoo! Chief Solutions Officer Tim Sanders, Canyon Ranch Resorts medical director Mark Liponis, CNN executive vice-president Gail Evans, and TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie.
Under his own name Stone has written many titles, including The Washington Post #1 bestseller The Bush Survival Bible (along with several other humor books), and the international bestseller, The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick, which has been translated into almost thirty languages. He co-produced another of his books, Little Girl Fly Away, as a made-for-television movie.
An avid watch collector, Stone wrote the definitive book of men’s wristwatches, The Watch. In recent years he’s been particularly interested in travel watches, about which he was profiled in the top watch site, Hodinkee.
Stone serves on the board of several not-for-profit organizations, including Surgeons Over Seas, which saves lives in developing countries by improving surgical care, and Truth Wins Out, a non-profit think tank and educational organization that defends the LGBT community against anti-gay misinformation.
Plants and animals
In 2006 Stone met Austin firefighter Rip Esselstyn and the two collaborated on a hugely successful book about a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based diet, Engine 2 Diet, which in turn was the basis of a product line at Whole Foods Markets. They then co-wrote a sequel, My Beef With Meat, which was a #1 New York Times bestseller. Under his own name, Stone wrote the companion book to the documentary about plant-based diets, Forks Over Knives. It was a #1 New York Times bestseller. Stone has since written several other books on the subject, including Living the Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide to a Mindful, Compassionate, Animal-Friendly Life, coauthored with Farm Sanctuary president and co-founder Gene Baur, and his most recent book, How Not to Die, co-written with Human Society of the United States vice-president Michael Greger. Stone is also the co-author, with Jon Doyle, of The Awareness, a novel about the day that all mammals gain human-like consciousness. Stone is currently working on three more plant-based or animal-rights books.
He serves on the Board of Advisors to Groceryships, a California-based scholarship for groceries which provides families the money to buy a plant-based diet for six months, and then provides a comprehensive program of education and support to ensure the nutritional program continues successfully.
He also is on the Board of Advisors of Ready for Rescue, a New York City-based animal rescue group dedicated to saving at risk animals with a focus on cats and dogs who are suffering in the New York City shelter system.
Below, Gene shares with Martha Stewart some of his secrets for never getting sick.