John Morton

For twenty years, John Morton has ghost-written for the CEOs of some of the world's highest-profile companies. From 1995 to 2013, through a period of unprecedented tumult (multiple plane crashes, strikes, terror attacks, three changes in CEO, mergers, bankruptcy), he wrote speeches, magazine columns and more for the top executives of American Airlines. Morton is also a screenwriter (35 South, his first effort, won Best Screenplay at the 2013 California Film Awards) and the author of The Elephant on Sixth Street, a novella ("a classic caper wrapped around  ...See more >

John Morton welcomes queries regarding:
Agent Representation
Events & Signings
Film Rights
Foreign Publication
Media Coverage
U.S. Publication


"insightful...funny...courageously true"

Kirkus Reviews


Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-1500457433
Page count: 234pp

Morton’s autobiography focuses on his career path from the ordinary world of restaurant management to the exciting milieu of corporate speechwriting.

In his debut, the author offers self-deprecating humor and business insight as he tells his life story. It spans from his college days to when he launched his own communications firm and became a husband and father. Morton recalls when he was a bar manager in college and had to fire the most attractive girl on campus for workplace drunkenness: “If she weren’t so pretty, I wouldn’t have fired her.” He then explains his reasoning: If the bar were to earn a profit, the staff had to stop giving away free drinks, and “[i]f the prettiest girl in school could be fired, so could they!” He also remembers his stint as a restaurant-management trainee after college, during which he was trying to impress a waitress; however, she thought that he was mentally disabled, because “[w]ith my garbage bag apron splattered with crab bits and my DeWayne hat, I cut a fine figure.” There are other funny stories from his youth, such as those involving an arrest for a minor traffic infraction while riding his scooter, an ice-cream–eating contest gone wrong, and his time as a reclusive DJ. But, he notes, his life improved dramatically after he completed his MBA and got a job with American Airlines. At this point, the memoir seems destined to fizzle, with the author stuck in a cubicle doing financial analytics—but then Morton reveals that he was promoted to speechwriter for the company’s CEO. He goes on to provide a number of insightful, often funny recollections from his 20-year career writing speeches, press releases and corporate policy memos, addressing everything from corporate turnaround efforts to labor negotiations. Overall, the memoir works best when it reveals Morton’s transformation from a “funny kid who skated through business school” to a “sage business advisor who helped shape corporate policy.” Along with his many personal reflections, he offers readers valuable advice about remaining courageously true to oneself.

An entertaining memoir about a successful corporate career.