Dennis McDougal has invested nearly 50 years chronicling Hollywood, psychedelics, mental health, true crime, and media misdemeanors. He is currently at work on a history of Las Vegas and disorganized crime.
Before turning his attention fulltime to writing books, McDougal reported on the glamorous and occasionally corrupt aspects of show business as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. He also contributed regularly to the New York Times and produced documentaries for both CNN and PBS. His journalism has won dozens of honors including the George Foster Peabody Award, Fordham University’s Ann M. Sperber Award for the nation’s best media biography, and an Edgar nomination from the Mystery Writers of America for best true crime.
With a B.A. and Master’s in journalism from UCLA, McDougal furthered his postgraduate education at Stanford University with a yearlong Knight Fellowship in psychology and law. As an adjunct professor, he has taught journalism and creative writing at UCLA and the California State Universities at Fullerton and Long Beach.
Father to five and grandfather of 15, he lives with wife Sharon and their oddly intuitive dachshund Bernie, in a forested backwater near Memphis, Tennessee.
With the publication of Operation White Rabbit: LSD, the DEA and the Fate of the Acid King (Skyhorse Publishing, 2020) , Dennis McDougal has authored a total of thirteen books. Not that he’s superstitious, but he’s currently at work on No. 14 -- this time, a no-holds-barred biography centered on sex, sizzle, and the Mafia, in Sin City (aka Las Vegas) USA. In a career spanning over 50 years, McDougal has written hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles.
In partnership with Revelations Productions, McDougal is producing a documentary film about the late civil rights figure Rodney King. He is also at work on The Acid Chronicles, a documentary history of the evolution of psychedelics, from CIA abuse and party drugs to ongoing breakthroughs in treatment of mental illness in the 21st Century.
A CNN producer during the O.J. Simpson murder trial, he also co-produced Inventing L.A.: The Chandlers and Their Times (2009) for PBS.