Who is JR Moehringer, Prince Harry’s ghostwriter

The cream of feather ready

His name does not appear anywhere on the cover of Spare (“The Substitute”, in French), the world-famous memoir of Prince Harry, but the words that lie there are also his own. You have to get to the long list of thanks to read his surname: JR Moehringer, the one the Duke of Sussex chose to help him write his book. Meghan’s husband greets this 58-year-old American, renowned among the most brilliant feather-readers, ” a collaborator and friend, confessor and sometimes sparring-partner”. This is the third time that Moehringer has hid behind a personality – at least from what we know. The man had already been talked about in 2009 for open (Ed. Plon), the autobiography of American tennis player Andre Agassi, considered the must of the genre. He also put his talent, in 2016, at the service of the co-founder of Nike, Phil Knight, to The Art of Victory (Ed. Hugo).

A deserved Pulitzer Prize

The Yale graduate begins his career at the bottom of the ladder at New York Times in 1986. The experiment was not conclusive and the journalist went to work for local publications before joining the Los Angeles Times. In 1998, he was on the Pulitzer Prize shortlist but the very prestigious award escaped him. Two years later, Moehringer won it for Crossing-over (“cross”), an article on Gee’s Bend, a community of descendants of slaves who lived at the time isolated, at the bottom of the Alabama river, in the State of the same name, who fear and hope for the arrival of ‘a ferry.

A successful autobiographer

Besides his fictional book, Sutton, released in 2012 and based on the real life of bank robber Willie Sutton, Moehringer wrote an autobiography under his name, The Tender Bar, acclaimed by critics in 2005. Raised by a single mother between Long Island and Arizona, the New Yorker by birth recounts, with a good dose of self-mockery, his young years, the absence of a father who ran off without warning and found refuge in a local bar, that of Uncle Charlie. Ben Affleck will play this surrogate father figure in a film directed by George Clooney in 2021.

An exalted method

Writing for others requires great availability, unfailing discretion and a good dose of self-sacrifice. Moehringer has a reputation for not doing things by halves. the New York Times thus explains that for open, he moved to Las Vegas in order to settle not far from the house of Andre Agassi. With more than 250 hours of interview, Freud and Jung on his bedside table, the exercise has almost turned into the psychoanalysis of the player. Moehringer tells the American daily that he spent so much time getting into the head of the tennis player that it was sometimes a shock when Agassi appeared in the flesh. “It was like, how can you be here when I’ve already been you?” », he explains.


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