Tim Ferriss Biography

Blogger/Internet, Journalist (1977–)
Tim Ferriss is an author, blogger and motivational speaker known for his books The 4-Hour Workweek and The 4-Hour Body.


Born in Southampton, New York, on July 20, 1977, Tim Ferriss ran his own nutrition supplement company before becoming a world-record tango dancer. In 2007, he released his book The 4-Hour Workweek, which became a No. 1 best seller and developed a global reach. Ferriss has an active online presence and is a motivational speaker, and has also written The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef.

Early Life and Experiences

Timothy Ferriss was born in Southampton, on eastern Long Island in New York, on July 20, 1977, and grew up in neighboring East Hampton. He attended St. Paul's, a New Hampshire boarding school, and during his junior year traveled to Japan as an exchange student. He was later admitted into Princeton University due to the strength of his application essay.

Ferriss made his first foray into publishing with the audiobook How I Beat the Ivy League and took on a number of occupations, including speed-reading instruction and Chinese kickboxing, before graduating from Princeton in 2000 with a focus on East Asian studies. He then moved to the San Francisco area to work for a Silicon Valley start-up. Overworked and underpaid, Ferriss started his own nutritional supplement company, BodyQUICK, which turned into a highly successful yet time-consuming venture.

Writing 'The 4-Hour Work Week'

After traveling to London, Ferriss had a breakdown and ultimately decided to streamline his business, hiring virtual assistants and becoming more efficient with his email usage. He also became a globe-trotter, traveling to locales like Ireland and Germany and ending up in Argentina. There he took up the tango, starting with a beginner's class and making it to the semifinals of the world championships. In 2006, he entered the Guinness World Records for the most tango spins in one minute—37—with his dancing partner Alicia Monti on the talk show Live With Regis and Kelly.

Ferriss would eventually document his business philosophy in the 2007 release The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, published by Crown, a division of Random House. Though initially rejected by many publishers, the book was a major hit, becoming a No. 1 New York Times best seller and remaining on the list for years while being translated into multiple languages.

'4-Hour' Franchise and Online Presence

In 2010, Ferriss released a 4-Hour follow-up, The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman. The book also went to the top of the Times best-seller list, though physicians have challenged the validity of the some of the content.

Ferriss has documented much of his work online with his blog and has an assortment of Web videos offering instruction on diverse topics, including suitcase organization and eating with chopsticks. He has become an in-demand speaker and has appeared on a number of media-generated lists as an innovative businessman and promoter, though he's also faced staunch criticism for his ideas. Ferriss has also served on the faculty at Singularity University, an institution that studies new technologies.

In 2012 Ferris took part in a food marathon to promote the release of The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life. Published by Amazon, the book is a photo- and illustration-rich collection that chronicles the author's foray into the culinary arts, with accompanying motivational text.

Fact Check

We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!