About the author
Len Lamensdorf is an award-winning author of eight novels, three full-length plays, and one motion picture. A three-time Silberman Memorial Scholar and an honors graduate of the University of Chicago, Len studied playwriting at UCLA with Theatre Arts Department Chairman Kenneth Macgowan, founder of the world-famous Provincetown Players and the original producer of the plays of Eugene O’Neill.
Lamensdorf also received his J.D. degree from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was Associate Editor/Managing Editor of the University of Chicago Law Review, and completed his post-graduate work at Harvard Law School. Len’s career in law and business spanned more than thirty years and he draws on his extensive travel experiences on five continents to create realistic settings for his work.
Len’s first novel, Kane’s World, was published in hardcover by Simon & Schuster, in paperback by Dell, and translated into several languages. Delacorte published his next novel, In the Blood. His prize-winning Juvenile/ Young Adult Will to Conquer trilogy won the 2000 Gold Benjamin Franklin Award for Best Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction, an “Ippy,” the Independent Publisher’s Award as Best Juvenile/Young Adult Novel and named finalist for the ForeWord Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year Award. The Raging Dragon was named a “Children’s Choice 2003,” a program sponsored by the prestigious Children’s Book Council and the International Reading Association.
Booklist called Len’s adult novel, Gino, the Countess & Chagall, “...a glowing tribute to the world of art through the life of a talented and charming painter who personifies a zest for life.” Gino won a Silver Benjamin Franklin Award, an Ippy, and ForeWord magazine’s Book-of-the-Year award.
Len is married, the father of two children, grandfather of six and lives in Westlake Village, California.
Watch this interview with Len Lamensdorf on Literary Gumbo:
Plays and Cinema
Lamensdorfʻs newest novel is an enhancement and adaptation of his play The Ballad of Billy Lee.
Joseph J. Ellis, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning historian, called The Ballad of Billy Lee “one of the most poignant untold stories in American history.”
After viewing The Ballad of Billy Lee, Pulitzer Prize winning author Ron Chernow wrote to Len Lamensdorf: “You have done a beautiful job of coaxing [Billy Lee] out into the sunlight and giving him the attention that he most assuredly deserves. My sincere congratulations. . . I share your strongly held view that it would be wonderful if more Americans were acquainted with the remarkable Billy Lee.”
Watch this excerpt from the DVD of Henry Brownʻs performance in which Billy Lee discovers the Declaration of Independence and confronts George Washington:
Young Adult Fiction
Len Lamendorf's Will to Conquer Trilogy has won 5 leading awards including the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Fiction Award
The Murdered Messiah
Len Lamensdorf’s thrilling retelling of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Did Jesus believe he was the son of God? Did he claim to be the Messiah? Did Jesus consider himself to be divine? The Murdered Messiah unravels these riddles and reveals the true nature of this remarkable man, with reverence for his extraordinary sacrifice and his passionate love for God”.
The Mexican Gardener
He is tall, dark and handsome, an excellent marksman and skilled jet pilot, so what is he doing, working for a beautiful, Oscar-winning film actress as a gardener? He seems like so many other Mexican and Central Americans, toiling in the yards and gardens of Californians. But there is a dramatic difference:
The Balled of Billy Lee, The Story of George Washingtonʻs Favorite Slave, is a novel adapted from Lamensdorfʻs acclaimed play by the same title. A compelling story told from the perspective of the slave who was at Washintonʻs side for over thirty years, through the founding of America, the Revolutionary War, Washingtonʻs Presidency, and up until his death.
Gino, the Countess & Chagall
Winner of 3 national awards, and was called by reviewers, “A gorgeous travelogue and art history saga,” and “A great traveling companion.”
Len Lamensdorf is published exclusively by