Nathaniel Philbrick (born 1956) is an American author and a winner of the National Book Award for his work of maritime history In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. His latest work, Mayflower, has received excellent reviews.
Philbrick graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, earned his bachelor's degree at Brown University, and his master's degree in American literature at Duke University. He moved to Nantucket in 1986.
He is a leading authority on the history of whaling and is the director of the Egan Institute of Maritime Studies and is a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association. He lives on Nantucket and is a former intercollegiate All-American sailor and North American Sunfish champion.
Philbrick has also written articles on sailing and American maritime history for Vanity Fair, the New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe.
In 2002, he was named the Nathaniel Bowditch Maritime Scholar of the Year by the American Merchant Marine Museum.
Philbrick has written extensively about sailing. His works include The Passionate Sailor and Second Wind: A Sailfish Sailor's Odyssey. He is also the editor of Yaahting, A Parody.
In May 2006, Philbrick published a new history of the founding of the Plymouth colony in the United States, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War, winner of the Massachusetts Book Award. On November 6, 2007, Philbrick shared research from this book at a campus forum at Brigham Young University.
Nathaniel is the most prominent member of the Philbrick literary family.