Karl Marlantes (born December 24, 1944) is an American author, businessman, and decorated Marine veteran.
Marlantes grew up in Seaside, Oregon, a small logging town. He was a football player and student body president at Seaside High School (class of 1963), where his father was principal. He won a National Merit Scholarship and attended Yale University. He was a member of Jonathan Edwards College and Beta Theta Pi. He played wing forward for Yale's Rugby team. He was a Rhodes Scholar at University College, Oxford. He left after one semester to volunteer for active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps. After his military service, he returned to Oxford and earned a master's degree. He made his living as an international business consultant, in India, England, Singapore, and France.
He is the author of Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War, a New York Times Top 10 Bestseller published in 2010. Sebastian Junger, in The New York Times, declared Matterhorn: "one of the most profound and devastating novels ever to come out of Vietnam". Matterhorn received the 2011 Washington State Book Award in the Fiction category. The novel is based on Marlantes' combat experience in the Vietnam War, as a Marine Corps 2nd and 1st lieutenant. His decorations include the Navy Cross, Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals for valor, two Purple Hearts and ten Air Medals. After his combat tour, he served another year of active duty at HQMC. He suffered a severe case of post traumatic stress disorder that led to divorce; he continues treatment for it.
He published a non-fiction work in 2011 entitled What It Is Like To Go To War about modern veteran life upon return to the civilian world. Bill Moyers interviewed Marlantes in connection with the promotion of this book in July 2012...
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