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Author Michael Lewis nearly stopped writing after daughter's death

Author Michael Lewis nearly quit writing
Daughter's death nearly stopped author Michael Lewis from writing again 03:51

Author Michael Lewis told 60 Minutes he nearly quit writing after his 19-year-old daughter Dixie Lewis was killed in May 2021. Dixie and her 20-year-old boyfriend Ross Schultz were both killed in a car crash in northern California.

"I write because it gives me pleasure," author Michael Lewis told 60 Minutes correspondent Jon Wertheim, "and I thought maybe I wouldn't have access to that pleasure anymore."

Lewis considers his good luck as part of his identity. After Dixie's death, he feared the trauma would influence his prose and the words would read differently. 

With time, Lewis again found joy in writing as he dove into his next topic, disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Field. The book will be released this week.

Lewis' new book on Sam Bankman-Fried, "Going Infinite"

The acclaimed author began writing his new book "Going Infinite," this winter, after initially meeting Sam Bankman-Fried in the fall of 2021. The book is an in-depth look at the story of Bankman-Fried, the founder and CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX. 

Bankman-Fried is currently being held in a Brooklyn detention center prior to the start of his trial on federal fraud charges, due to begin this coming Tuesday, Oct. 3. 

While reporting on the book, Lewis interviewed numerous people, including Bankman-Fried and his parents Barbara Fried and Joseph Bankman. Despite the differing circumstance, Lewis sensed they felt they too were losing a child. 

"I drove with them to the jail right after he was arrested in the Bahamas…And in those moments with them, I felt like they thought I might be able [to] offer them advice," Lewis told 60 Minutes. "Barbara…his mother on the way to the jail, she asked me, 'Tell me something to make me feel better.' And I said, 'You'll be amazed at how adaptable you are. You'll be shocked by the ability of your mind to adjust to the circumstances and continue on.'"

Remembering Dixie

Lewis said his family has been resilient through the trauma they've endured. They've honored her in a myriad of ways, including in Lewis' latest book, which is dedicated to Dixie. 

"She was an extraordinarily brave person like, beyond belief brave," Lewis said about Dixie. "She made big sacrifices for a future she saw. And it was heartbreaking that she didn't get that future."

The video above was produced by Keith Zubrow and Sarah Shafer Prediger and edited by Sarah Shafer Prediger.

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