Penguin Speakers Bureau

Jeffrey Kluger

Journalist and Author of The Sibling Effect

Photo by Danny Kim


Jeffrey Kluger is a senior editor and writer at Time magazine, principally covering science and social issues. The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us, his new nonfiction book, was published in fall 2011. He is the author of six other books, including Apollo 13, coauthored with Jim Lovell, which served as the basis of the 1995 movie of the same name.

During his tenure at Time, Kluger has written hundreds of stories, including 36 cover stories. Among them are his 2011 coverage of the Japanese tsunami and Fukushima crisis, the 2003 loss of the shuttle Columbia, the 2005 cover on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and a 2001 cover on global warming which won the Overseas Press Club Award for best environmental reporting of the year.

The Sibling Effect grew out of two cover stories Kluger wrote for Time that explored a recent surge in sibling studies. Over the past fifteen years, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, biologists and even zoologists have begun to tease apart the genetic, sociological, and psychological threads of the sibling relationship. As Kluger reports, there are many factors that influence sibling relationships in important ways, starting with birth order. He takes readers far beyond the common notions of the smart and studious older sib, the lost-in-the-thickets middle sib, and the wild-child younger sib. To what degree, he asks, are personality, temperament, and character governed by position in the family? In a surprising and provocative narrative grounded in authoritative science, Kluger introduces readers to the fundamental reasons siblings play the roles they do in one another’s lives, and he convincingly demonstrates that identity is as much about one’s siblings as it is about oneself.  

Before coming to Time, Kluger worked for Discover magazine, where he was a senior editor and humor columnist. Earlier, he was health editor at Family Circle magazine, a story editor at The New York Times Business World Magazine, and Associate Editor at Science Digest magazine. His features and columns have appeared in dozens of publications, including The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Cosmopolitan, Omni, McCall's, New York Magazine, The New York Post, and Newsday. He has worked as an adjunct instructor in the graduate journalism program at New York University; is a licensed—though non-practicing—attorney; and is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the University of Baltimore School of Law. He lives in New York City with his wife and daughters.

Speaking Topics

  • The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us

More About This Speaker

Featured Book

The Sibling Effect

"Jeffrey Kluger integrates the latest research and brings his own fresh thinking to an ancient topic: sibling relationships. He weaves his own sibling experiences into his rich, insightful text. As with all good storytellers, Kluger's stories are sad/happy and heartbreaking/glorious. The Sibling Effect is for anyone who has ever wondered, 'Why can't I get along with my siblings?' or 'Why are we so different?' or 'How did my relationships with my siblings shape my personality?' I suspect that is most of us."

– Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia

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