David Magee

Nonfiction Writer & Memoirist
Inspirational Speaker
Travels from: Memphis, TN

“Shot through with hope, purpose and an unflinching love, it’s a story that must be read.” —Newsweek

Writer David Magee is an award-winning columnist and author of books including his upcoming title Dear William. Written to his late son who died of an accidental drug overdose, the memoir will be published in November 2021 by Matt Holt Books/BenBella.

Called “breathtakingly brilliant” in tone by renowned memoirist Kiese Laymon and “powerful and revelatory” by NYT bestselling author Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Magee’s memoir Dear William addresses addiction, recovery, love and loss, and the making and near-breaking of an American family like no book you’ve ever read. With a triumphant conclusion, Dear William is an inspiring, must-read for students and parents everywhere.

David, an inspirational keynote speaker and the Director of Institute Advancement at the University of Mississippi, is a change-maker on alcohol and other drug wellness education and support and wellbeing. He helped inspire and create the William Magee Center for Wellness Education at the University of Mississippi, named for his late son and designed to improve lives with new solutions.

Formerly a columnist for Newsweek, and a former daily newspaper and magazine publisher and a vice president of Alabama Media Group (al.com), David is the author of a dozen books including How Toyota Became #1 (Penguin), named a Top 10 Business Book of the Year from the American Library Association, and The Education of Mr. Mayfield, a best book of the South (2009), and he has been a regular guest on CNBC.

A native of Oxford, Magee is a graduate of The University of Mississippi. His wife, Kent, is a yoga teacher specializing in yoga for addiction.

Prepare an Invitation for:

Dear William: A Father’s Memoir of Addiction, Recovery, Love, and Loss

Matt Holt |



“Shot through with hope, purpose and an unflinching love, it’s a story that must be read.” —Newsweek

“Essential, poignant, and insightful reading.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Award-winning columnist and author David Magee addresses his poignant story to all those who will benefit from better understanding substance misuse so that his hard-earned wisdom can save others from the fate of his late son, William.

The last time David Magee saw his son alive, William told him to write their family’s story in the hopes of helping others. Days later, David found William dead from an accidental drug overdose.

Now, in a memoir suggestive of Augusten Burroughs meets Glennon Doyle, award-winning columnist and author David Magee answers his son’s wish with a compelling, heartbreaking, and impossible to put down book that speaks to every individual and family.

With honesty and heart, Magee shares his family’s intergenerational struggle with substance abuse and mental health issues, as well as his own reckoning with family secrets—confronting the dark truth about the adoptive parents who raised him and a decades-long search for identity. He wrestles with personal substance misuse that began at a young age and, as a father, he sees destructive patterns repeat and develop within his own children. While striving to find a truly authentic voice as a writer despite authoring nearly a dozen previous books, Magee ultimately understands that William had been right and their own family’s history is the story he needs to tell.

A poignant and uplifting message of hope translates unimaginable tragedy into an inspirational commitment to saving others, as David founded the William Magee Institute for Student Wellbeing at the University of Mississippi. His mission to share solutions to self-medication and addiction, particularly as it touches America’s high school and college students, emphasizes that William’s story is about much more than a tragic addiction—it’s an American story of a family broken by loss and remade with love.

Dear William inspires readers to find purpose, build resilience, and break the cycles that damage too many individuals and the people who love them. It’s a life-changing book revealing how voids can be filled, and peace—even profound, lasting happiness—is possible.

How Toyota Became #1: Leadership Lessons from the World’s Greatest Car Company

Portfolio |

Everyone knows that Toyota has had an amazing twenty-five- year run, rising from a humble Japanese start-up to a thriving global giant. But how did it pass Ford and GM to become the world?s largest auto manufacturer? And how does it continue to thrive while so many competitors are struggling and failing?

Journalist David Magee dug deeply into Toyota?s past and present, interviewing senior executives who rarely talk to the press, along with many other sources. The powerful lessons that he distills, especially about corporate culture, are valuable for managers in all industries.

Playing to Win: Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys

Triumph Books |

Parlaying unrestricted access into a compelling behind-the-scenes narrative, author David Magee reveals football vignettes and insightful management morsels from arguably the most colorful and influential owner in all of professional sports. Playing to Win is the true story of how an Arkansas oilman named Jerry Jones was able to turn the Dallas Cowboys franchise around and become arguably the most influential owner in all of professional sports winning three Super Bowls, landing record-setting television contracts, and overseeing every detail of a brand-new $1.2 billion stadium along the way. From revolutionizing the NFL’s business model to helping transform the league into the nation’s most popular sport, Jones is a sports icon, and this book showcases and brings clarity to the scope of his impact.

Ford Tough: Bill Ford and the Battle to Rebuild America’s Automaker

Wiley |

An inside look at the company that defined American industry and the man who runs it
Ford Tough is the contemporary story of a company fighting to position itself in a new era of business, with the founder’s visionary great-grandson as the leader of the new Ford Motor Company.
Bill Ford Jr. is the first Ford family member to run the company since 1979. A self-professed environmentalist and by all accounts a nice guy, he might not seem the most obvious choice for a hard-nosed corporate leader. But his vision of the company’s future, his genuine care for his employees, his well-timed toughness, and his obvious concern for the long-term well-being of Ford Motor Company have proven to be essential characteristics for the leader of America’s most famous brand.
Ford watched the company decline beginning in 1999 as then-CEO Jacques Nasser tried to remake the automaker into a new economy business. When the plan did not work, Ford stepped in to rebuild the automaker and restore faith from employees, consumers, and dealers. He guided Ford Motor Company through its troubled times and a successful centennial celebration.
With its massive size and a troubled economy, leading Ford Motor Company into the twenty-first century will be no easy task. Ford Tough looks at the modern rebuilding and the future of a company that defines American know-how and American culture.
David Magee (Lookout Mountain, Tennessee) is a former newspaper editor and columnist, as well as an automotive expert who has been featured on National Public Radio, Bloomberg TV, and the Discover Channel, among other news and media outlets. He has written for the Associated Press, the Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, MS), and the Oxford Eagle (Oxford, MS), and is also the author of Turnaround: How Carlos Ghosn Rescued Nissan.

My Son William's Story

The Road to Wellbeingville

What Every Parent Should Know About Substance Use

Addiction and Family Unpacked

Why Students Misuse Substances and What Can Be Done About It

Lessons Learned from Iconic Brands That Will Change Your Life

How to Become an Influential Father (and Parent)

America Has a Drug Problem: How to Fix It

David in the News

Honors, Awards & Recognition

National Bestseller

Media Kit

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