May 26, 2016 Last Updated 1:17 pm

Fortuitous timing: journalist publishes Peter Thiel biography

Journalist Richard Byrne Reilly’s profile on the co-founder of PayPal enters the digital bookstores two weeks before news hits of Thiel’s bankrolling of the Gawker lawsuits

Talk about good timing, Richard Byrne Reilly has just published a new biography of Peter Thiel, the PayPal co-founder, and the man now revealed to be the person bankrolling the lawsuits against Gawker and Nick Denton.

The book, or rather eBook, as it is available only in digital form, is called Peter Thiel: Players, Companies, Life and can be found in the Amazon, Apple, B&N and Kobo stores (here is one link that will work for all the stores).

The timing is also a little unfortunate, as well. The book entered the Amazon store on May 12, and Apple’s iBooks Store two days later, meaning that unless the author chooses to update their book a big part of the story will be missing.

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., May 26, 2016 — Investigative journalist Richard Byrne Reilly has published the first biography of Peter Thiel, the controversial billionaire and contrarian behind some of the world’s most powerful and disruptive technology companies. Peter Thiel: Players, Companies, Life, an unauthorized microbiography published as an eBook, is now available at online bookstores and at

Players-cover-200Reilly uses Thiel’s own words to illuminate the world view of the man who co-founded PayPal and Palantir, became both the first outside investor in Facebook and the first institutional investor in the newly-legalizing marijuana industry, and is now a pledged Donald Trump delegate. Players, Companies, Life recounts the board meeting where Mark Zuckerberg turned down Yahoo’s $1 billion offer for Facebook; proffers Thiel’s brutal appraisals of tech giants; and tells how a chess grand master’s strategy inspired his approach to investing.

Jason Pontin, Editor in Chief and Publisher of MIT Technology Review, calls Players “an innovative and delightful book that captures the technologist’s restless, original intelligence. Reilly has performed an invaluable service by creating the definitive oral history of Thiel in the entrepreneur’s own words.”

Players captures a revealing snapshot of technology’s most controversial operator,” Reilly says. “He continues to evolve quickly on many fronts. He has deep connections to both Silicon Valley and the highest levels of the U.S. intelligence community. He’s involved with SpaceX, Tesla, Spotify and bioscience startups. He favors legalizing marijuana and is backing companies that sell it. Now he’s hustling for Donald Trump as a delegate. With his wealth and intelligence, Thiel is an entrepreneur whose life ambitions affect all of us.”


Richard Byrne Reilly

Thiel was unmasked this week by Forbes as the mysterious investor bankrolling Hulk Hogan’s devastating lawsuits against Gawker Media. “Players gives readers a candid peek into the mind of one of the world’s most powerful citizens – and what can happen to those who cross him,” Reilly says.

Richard Byrne Reilly is an award-winning investigative journalist and author who has covered technology, venture capital, security, intelligence, military, celebrity and crime. His work has appeared in the National Enquirer, New York Magazine, the New York Post,, the San Francisco Examiner, Red Herring, VentureBeat, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and many European publications. Reilly’s first book, “The Frigate Bird,” a spy thriller set in Massachusetts, was released in 2013. A Bay Area native, he lives on California’s Central Coast.

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