Steven Pressfield (September 1943— ) is an American author, of historical fiction and non-fiction, and screenplays.
He was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in 1943, while his father was stationed there, in the Navy. He graduated from Duke University in 1965 and in 1966 joined the Marine Corps. In the years following, he worked as an advertising copywriter, schoolteacher, tractor-trailer driver, bartender, oilfield roustabout, attendant in a mental hospital, fruit-picker in Washington state, and screenwriter. His struggles to make a living as an author, including the period when he was homeless and living out of the back of his car, are detailed in his book The War of Art.
His first book, The Legend of Bagger Vance, was published in 1995, and made into a film of the same name, starring Will Smith, Charlize Theron, and Matt Damon, and directed by Robert Redford.
His second novel, Gates of Fire, is about the Spartans and the battle at Thermopylae. It is taught at the U.S. Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, and the Marine Corps Basic School at Quantico.
In 2012, he launched the publishing house Black Irish Books with his agent Shawn Coyne.
- The Legend of Bagger Vance (see The Legend of Bagger Vance for the film), about a young man trying to come to terms with his spiritual demons through the medium of golf (1995)
- Gates of Fire, about the Battle of Thermopylae (1998), ISBN 0385492510
- Tides of War, A Novel of Alcibiades and the Peloponnesian War (2000), ISBN 0385492529
- Last of the Amazons, in which Theseus, the legendary King of Athens, sets sail to the north coast of the Black Sea inhabited by a race of female warriors (2002), ISBN 038550098X
- The Virtues of War, about Alexander the Great (2004), ISBN 0385500998
- The Afghan Campaign, about Alexander the Great's conquests in Afghanistan (2006), ISBN 038551641X
- Killing Rommel (2008), a fictionalized account of a patrol of the British Long Range Desert Group during the North African Campaign of World War II, ISBN 0385519702
- The Profession (2011), ISBN 9780385528733. Pressfield's first book set in the future, where military force is for hire everywhere. Oil companies, multinational corporations and banks employ powerful, cutting-edge mercenary armies to control global chaos and protect their riches.
- The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles (2002), a motivational book that investigates the psychology of creating art and how "writer's block" can be cured. ISBN
- Do The Work (2011), ISBN 9781936719013
- The Warrior Ethos (2011), ISBN 9781936891009
- Turning Pro (2012), ISBN 9781936891030
- The Authentic Swing: Notes from the Writing of First Novel (2013), ISBN 9781936891139
- The Lion's Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War (2014), ISBN 9781595230911
- An American Jew: A Writer Confronts His Own Exile and Identity (2015), ISBN 9781936891412
- Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t: Why That Is and What You Can Do About It (2016), ISBN 9781936891498
- Writing WednesdaysAn ongoing, blog-version of The War of Art.
- What It Takes A journal by Shawn Coyne and Callie Oettinger, that explores "What It Takes" in publishing and other industries and venues, to make things happen.
- The Warrior Ethos
- It's the Tribes, Stupid a blog about the tribes in Afghanistan
- War Stories a blog dealing with issues of honor and virtue and courage in the face of adversity.
- The Creative Process A Q&A with a wide range of creative people—from writers to business entrepreneurs and beyond—probing how they do that thing they do.
Prior to publishing his first original works of fiction, Pressfield wrote several Hollywood screenplays including King Kong Lives, 1988's Above the Law starring Steven Seagal and directed by Andrew Davis, 1992’s Freejack, a work of science fiction starring Emilio Estevez, Mick Jagger, and Anthony Hopkins, and 1993's Joshua Tree (a.k.a. Army of One) starring Dolph Lundgren and George Segal. Joshua Tree was directed by Academy Award and Bafta winning stuntman Vic Armstrong.
His novel The Legend of Bagger Vance was made into a 2000 film starring Matt Damon as the golf pro and Will Smith as his spiritual guide.
Steven Pressfield also appeared as one of the historians in The History Channel's 2007 documentary Last Stand of the 300 and a commentator on an episode of the History Channel’s Decisive Battles series featuring Alexander the Great on July 30, 2004.