Leefeldt, Ed 1946-

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LEEFELDT, Ed 1946-


Born May 23, 1946, in Trenton, NJ; son of Ed and Dorothy Leefeldt; divorced; children: Kristin Leefeldt Melendez, Tim, Erik, Maren Leefeldt Kravitz. Education: Muhlenberg College, B.A., 1968; College of New Jersey, Ewing, M.Ed., 1970; attended University of Texas at Austin, 1971, and University of Pennsylvania, 1999. Hobbies and other interests: Aviation, aeronautics, history, literature, running, biking, nature.


Home—96 Florence Lane, Manahawkin, NJ 08050. Office—Lighter than Air, P.O. Box 2362, Princeton, NJ 08543. E-mail—[email protected].


Trentonian, Trenton, NJ, staff writer, 1971-81; Wall Street Journal, New York, NY, reporter, 1981-91; Bloomberg, New York, NY, staff writer. Barnes & Noble, leader of Writers' Exchange.


Toastmasters International, New York Press Club, New Jersey Foster Parents.


National Institute of Mental Health fellow, 1971; New Jersey Bar Association, Media Award, 1979, for "Absolute Ballot Vote Fraud," and certificate of merit, 1981, for "In Search of the Paper Children"; New Jersey Press Association, citation for meritorious reporting, 1979, and Enterprise Award, 1980, for "Convicts Cheat Social Security"; Sigma Delta Chi Award, 1980, for journalistic excellence in features; National Endowment for the Humanities fellow, 1980; New Jersey Foster Parents Association award, 1981; Edna McConnell Clark Foundation grant, 1981-82; New York Press Club, Features Award, 1995, for "A Wall Street Detective Story," Investigative Journalism Award, 1996, for "Don't Take the Bait!"; National Press Association fellow, 1999.


In Search of the Paper Children, Center for Analysis of Public Issues, 1981.

Lighter than Air: A New Report on the Aeronautical Adventures Now Taking Place over Paris, (historical novel), privately printed (Princeton, NJ), 1990, published as The Woman Who Rode the Wind, Lighter than Air (Princeton, NJ), 2001.

Contributor to periodicals, including New Jersey Reporter.


Ed Leefeldt told CA: "Originally published as Lighter than Air, The Woman Who Rode the Wind was my first novel, and it's a total departure from the rest of my life, which has been spent in investigative journalism and finance. But finding 'the ten best ideas to get rich' or uncovering the latest financial scam ultimately seemed hollow to me. Millions of Americans now play with their stock portfolios every day, hoping to make even more money, but they forget that time is the most valuable currency of all. The real question is what you will do with your life, because that's your greatest asset.

"The idea for Lighter than Air came to me years ago while I was lying on the floor doing sit-ups and feeling depressed about my recent divorce. I couldn't even think of a reason to get up. Looking up, I saw a book on my shelf about a man who flew through the streets of Paris in 1901—the most beautiful time and the most beautiful city in the world. Suddenly all the music of that period began to flow through my head. It made me feel 'lighter than air,' and that was the genesis of my book. I hope the book does the same thing for the reader.

"Lighter than Air is a story about human potential, about rising above yourself, above everything you think you can do, to a higher level. Aristotle said there are three regions to the sky: the region of earth, which is closest to us; the region of water, which is cold and cloudy like the mountain peaks; and the region of fire, which is where he believed heaven would be. Lighter than Air is about rising to heaven …wherever your heaven is.

"There is also an element of hell in the book. We went through hell in the twentieth century: world wars and cold wars, holocaust and extermination. People in 1900 believed that inventions like airplanes would cure our ills and make us equals in the sky. That's one of the reasons they risked their lives—and many died—learning to fly. They called it 'the winged gospel.' Of course they were wrong. Look at all the destruction the airplane has caused. But it was the innocence of that era, the belief that things could be better if we just worked harder, that I wanted to capture. The Wright brothers, for example, tried to memorize the entire encyclopedia when they were boys. That's the spirit that existed at the turn of the twentieth century.

"I have a little of that same spirit myself. My goal in writing Lighter than Air was to be my own hero, to build my own flying machine and fly through the streets of a city like Paris, scattering roses on the people below. Sound crazy? All these things happened a hundred years ago, and could again. This vision is in the book."