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Author Jeff Benedict to speak at Eastern's commencement

Published on April 16, 2024

Author Jeff Benedict to speak at Eastern's commencement

Best-selling author Jeffrey Benedict '91 will speak at the Eastern Connecticut State University commencement on May 14 at the XL Center in Hartford.

Benedict is an Eastern graduate and #1 New York Times best-selling author and seasoned television/film producer. Benedict has written 17 nonfiction books and more than 100 articles and essays exploring a diverse range of topics, from Indian casinos to biographies on sports icons.

Jeff Benedict
Jeff Benedict

He has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Sports Illustrated, and his stories have been the basis for segments on 60 Minutes, 20/20, CBS, the NFL Network, HBO Real Sports, Good Morning America, 48 Hours and the Discovery Channel.

"The Dynasty," his account of the New England Patriots published in 2020, was adapted as a 10-part docuseries for Apple TV+, premiering in February 2024. It documents the 20-year saga of the Patriots' Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, and the team's controversies and successes. Benedict researched the story for five years and was given exclusive access to the team.

His most recent book, published in April 2023, is a biography of NBA star LeBron James. He also co-wrote a bestselling biography of golf legend Tiger Woods, which became the basis of an HBO documentary and is being developed into a television series. He co-wrote a bestselling autobiography of Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young and was a writer and creative consultant for "Steve Young: A Football Life," which aired on the NFL Network in 2016. His 2011 book, "Poisoned," about a deadly E. coli outbreak was adapted into a documentary on Netflix.

Before becoming an author and journalist, Benedict was the director of research at the Center for the Study of Sports and Society at Northeastern University, where he conducted research on athletes and violence against women. While in law school, he worked as an assistant to the chief prosecutor in the child victims unit at the District Attorney's office in Boston.

In a recent visit to Eastern to screen an episode of "The Dynasty" documentary, Benedict taught a master class on turning journalism into storytelling, encouraging students to be “endlessly curious.” He majored in history as an undergraduate student at Eastern.

William Salka, vice president and provost of academic affairs, said, “As we celebrate the achievements of our graduating students, we are honored to have Mr. Jeff Benedict, an esteemed alumnus of Eastern, as our commencement speaker this year. His remarkable career and dedication to storytelling and social justice will undoubtedly inspire our graduates as they embark on their own journeys.”

The commencement programs begins at 6 p.m., with the procession starting at 5:30 p.m.

Categories: Alumni