PERSONAL: Married; wife's name Rochelle (a photographer); children: one daughter.
ADDRESSES: Home—Boca Raton, FL. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Forge Books, 175 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010.
CAREER: Journalist and writer. Boston Globe, Boston, MA, correspondent.
One Giant Leap: Neil Armstrong's Stellar American Journey, Forge (New York, NY), 2004.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A book about the 1935 hurricane that struck the Florida Keys.
SIDELIGHTS: Journalist Leon Wagener is a correspondent for the Boston Globe, and an author of nonfiction books, including Foster Child: A Biography of Jodie Foster, with Buddy Foster, the actress's brother, and One Giant Leap: Neil Armstrong's Stellar American Journey. Foster Child provides an account of the childhood and development of actress Jodie Foster, primarily from her brother's point of view, and while honest regarding many aspects of the children's upbringing, does not degenerate into a seedy family-based tell-all. Robert L. Pela, in a review for the Advocate, noted that "Wagener's imprint is all over this book; his meticulous research of Jodie Foster's career is matched by his skill in placing his reportage in his partner's distinctive voice."
One Giant Leap tells the story of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. Wagener follows Armstrong through his early love of aviation, his experiences in the navy, flying combat in Korea, and going on to become a civilian test pilot, delving into the corners of Armstrong's life, despite the man's reputation for being shy and closed-mouthed about his privacy. Booklist reviewer Roland Green called the book a "thorough, balanced life story of a thoroughly balanced but extremely private hero." In a review for BookPage, Michelle Jones commented on Wagener's account of the flight to the moon, stating that the "detailed transcript-based passages about things like in-flight meals and the astronauts' musical preferences put the reader in the capsule."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Advocate, May 27, 1997, Robert L. Pela, review of Foster Child: A Biography of Jodie Foster, p. 83.
Booklist, April 1, 2004, Roland Green, review of One Giant Leap: Neil Armstrong's Stellar American Journey, p. 1338.
BookPage, http://www.bookpage.com/ (April 25, 2006), Michelle Jones, "Separating the Man from the Moon."