Jon Krakauer (born April 12, 1954) is an American writer and mountaineer, primarily known for his writing about the outdoors and mountain-climbing. He is the author of best-selling non-fiction books–Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, Under the Banner of Heaven, and Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman–as well as numerous magazine articles.
Krakauer was born in Brookline, Massachusetts as the third of five children and was raised in Corvallis, Oregon from the age of two. His father introduced the young Krakauer to mountaineering at the age of eight. He competed in tennis at Corvallis High School and graduated in 1972. He went on to study at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, where in 1976 he received his degree in Environmental Studies. In 1977, he fell in love with former climber Linda Mariam Moore and they married in 1980. They lived in Seattle, Washington but moved to Boulder, Colorado after the release of Into Thin Air.
One year after graduating from college (1977), he spent three weeks by himself in the wilderness of the Stikine Icecap region of Alaska and climbed a new route on the Devils Thumb, an experience he described in Eiger Dreams and in Into the Wild. In 1992, he made his way to Cerro Torre in the Andes of Argentine Patagonia -- a sheer, jagged granite peak more typical of those found in the Himalayas or Pacific Rim and considered to be one of the most difficult technical climbs in the world.