About Shaun

Shaun Assael is an award-winning journalist, author and television correspondent.

In a career that has included politics, true crime and sports, he’s written on subjects as varied as the FBI’s investigation into FIFA, the history of steroids in America, and the mob in Las Vegas.

After graduating from New York University, Shaun spent his early years as a crime and court reporter for newspapers in Florida. That was followed by stints at American Lawyer Media and The Village Voice. As a freelancer in the mid-1990s, he wrote for New York, Glamour, and Esquire before finally landing on the development team that launched ESPN Magazine in 1998.


Shaun Assael | Photo credit: Amy K. Nelson
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Shaun went onto become a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine, a member of ESPN’s investigations unit, and a correspondent for the show Outside the Lines.

Shaun has taken some wild rides in sports. He spent a season working as a member of three NASCAR teams for Wide Open (1998).

He also chronicled the rags-to-riches story of America’s great wrestling showman, Vince McMahon, in the New York Times best-seller, Sex, Lies & Headlocks (2002), with co-writer Mike Mooneyham.

And he put a decade’s worth of reporting on PED’s into Steroid Nation (2007), which the Guardian called “a rip roaring good rock’n’roll read” and “the classic American drug story.”

His latest book, The Murder of Sonny Liston (2016), is an extensive investigation into one of the sports’ world’s biggest mysteries.

A native New Yorker, Shaun now makes his home in Coastal North Carolina, where he is writing books full-time.


Cover steroid nation  


Return Game

Wonder why the tennis world hates Maria Sharapova so much? Read my behind-the-scenes look into her comeback from a drug suspension, and why what worked on the court backfired in the court of public opinion.

Cranky Yankee Blogger

New Awards

Thanks to the National Association of Black Journalists for recognizing me at its annual awards ceremony in New Orleans, and to the Killer Nashville International Mystery Writers’ Conference for making The Murder of Sonny Liston a two-time award winner.

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Invite Me to Your Reading

Planning to reopen the unsolved case of Sonny Liston's mysterious death, or reading one of my other books, with your book club or class? I always enjoy joining a book discussion, and can do so virtually. Just reach out with your details.

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