First Biography of Controversial Technology Entrepreneur Peter Thiel Published

Entrepreneurs / 27th May 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

Reilly 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.”

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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