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About Michael Gross

Michael Gross, one of America's most provocative non-fiction writers, is the author of the New York Times bestsellers House of Outrageous Fortune, 740 Park and Model, as well as Rogues' Gallery, Unreal Estate, My Generation and Focus, The Sexy, Secret, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers. He is a Contributing Editor of Departures and his journalism has appeared in The New York TimesNew YorkVanity Fair, Esquire, GQ and many other publications.

July 28 2021

Timing is Everything

Axios reports that Donald Trump is furious at David McIntosh, president of the right-wing Club for Growth (pictured), for urging him to endorse a candidate who just lost a special election in Texas. Why would I care about a loser and his ill-advisor? Because both Trump and McIntosh are characters in my book My Generation, released in 2000, now available as an e-book which you can buy here. Its thesis was that the Baby Boom was a big tent that included not just the obvious rock and rollers, druggies, gays and assorted progressives and libertines, but arch-conservatives like McIntosh, a former congressman, and oinks like the ex-prez. I got the right interviews, but in the wrong decade. Too much too soon, you might say. Continue reading

June 13 2021

Flashback: The Spy Guys

This second installment of resurfaced BG Conversations from my tenure as editor of Bergdorf Goodman Magazine brought together Kurt Anderson, Graydon Carter and George Kalogerakis of the late lamented Spy Magazine for a chat about the publication of Spy: The Funny Years, an anthology of their greatest hit (jobs) at the satirical dead tree shiv, er, mag. Remember magazines? They used to be a lot of fun for editors, writers and especially, readers. Continue reading

May 30 2021

Before #GetCarter: Dishing with Keith McNally and Nora Ephron

Back in the oughts, I edited Bergdorf Goodman Magazine, and started a regular feature called BG Conversation, in which I invited two eminent New Yorkers to lunch and recorded their conversations. Sometimes they knew each other, sometimes they only wanted to know each other. Often, the conversations sparkled. In light of the social media tempest pitting former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter against restaurateur Keith McNally, I dug out this gem, a March 2004 BG Conversation featuring Keith and the late essayist, screenwriter and director Nora Ephron from an archive on my hard drive. Click the link to read it. I’ll add more of these conversations to as time goes by. And I’ll see you soon at Pastis! Continue reading

May 29 2021

Model Gets a Fresh Look

Of “the juiciest reads—tell-alls, exposés,” writes Lucia Tonelli on “‘Model’ by Michael Gross is one I pick up regularly, read a few pages, and put down feeling like I’ve satisfied a social itch. The searing biography dives deep.” Thanks, Lucia! Continue reading

May 24 2021

Happy Birthday, Bob

Eighty is a long run for a rock star, but you’re younger than that now. Continue reading

May 20 2021

On The Border

With Europe about to re-open for American travelers, it seems a good moment to revisit a story published last August in Departures (in the depths of lockdown) under the rubric “well kept secret.” Pyla-sur-Mer and Cap Ferret are two of the most magical places I’ve ever visited. And soon, we’ll be able to visit them again. The photo here and in the story are by Ambroise Tézenas. Continue reading

May 15 2021

Book Bits

Two of my books have earned press “hits” this week. An obituary by Penelope Green of modeling agent Barbara Stone put Model back in the New York Times. And Jennifer Gould of the New York Post references 740 Park in her report on former Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin‘s long, and finally-successful effort, to sell a radically price-chopped apartment at 740 Park Avenue that’s been in his family for three generations. Does the price reflect a similar discounting of the reputation of accomplices of the last administration? Continue reading

May 5 2021

Bill Gates: His Do-Right Pre-Nup Woman

Twenty-three years ago, I interviewed Ann Winblad, now 70, the venture capitalist who was Bill Gates‘ girlfriend before his now-ruptured marriage to Melinda French Gates, and has reportedly remained close to the second richest man in the world ever since. The interview, for my book on the Baby Boom, My Generation, was edited out of the final draft. But you can read it here.

Photo: JD Lasica Continue reading

April 24 2021

Suddenly, Last Sumner

The listing of the late Viacom mogul Sumner Redstone’s estate in Beverly Park, near Beverly Hills, for $27.9 million, caused the Hollywood Reporter to revisit Unreal Estate’s opening chapter, in which Sylvester Stallone bought the same property after racist neighbors rose up in fear when Death Row founder Suge Knight almost bought it. Read all about it here or buy the e-book here. Continue reading

April 23 2021

God Save the King (of Sweden)

It’s bittersweet to have a story in the final print issue of Departures before it goes to the magazine graveyard, but sweet to share this piece on the rebirth of the Hotel Carl Gustaf on St. Barth. (That’s the view from its restaurant, pictured.) Continue reading

March 26 2021

Hack Flack

The recent hack of my website continues to reverberate, and the Cast of Characters for 740 Park is currently offline, but IT wizards are at work on restoring it. Apologies, and thanks to Mark David of Dirt who alerted me to the page’s disappearance while sharing some news of the Park Avenue fortress. Continue reading

March 24 2021

Gyrating Prices at 740 Park

As Manhattan’s luxury real estate market corrects and slowly begins to recover from its COVID swoon, there are, as in the stock market’s constituency, bulls, bears and pigs running free. Which brings us to the latest reveal of a listing at 740 Park Avenue, by the juicy real estate gossip site, Dirt. Tamara and Randy Winn, she’s the daughter of billionaire Ira Rennert, have listed their 740 duplex at $40 million, which would give them an $8 million profit over the “ridiculous” price they paid for it thirteen years ago.

Writes Dirt’s dishmeister Mark David, “There are at least three other units at 740 Park Avenue that are currently for sale, and with much lower prices: An opulent if outdated lower floor duplex, the… Continue reading

March 17 2021

Words of Wisdom…and Otherwise

Robin Givhan‘s column in today’s Washington Post–concerning Senator Ron Johnson, Sharon Osbourne and Dolce & Gabbana (strange bedfellows) notes, “Anyone with something to say that’s more than pablum inevitably draws a bit of blood; the truth, in particular, hurts….Wouldn’t we all like a bit of peace and quiet? But the ultimate answer to the insult — and the fear and the tears and the daily aggravating discomfort — is to simply keep talking.” Continue reading

March 6 2021

Flipping Out

Will Lie Zeckendorf, co-developer with his brother Arthur Zeckendorf of 15 Central Park West, and former owner of apartments there, in the Majestic on Central Park West, and in 740 Park Avenue, has flipped apartments again, reports the New York Times, buying a third-floor eleven-room flat in architect J.E.R. Carpenter’s 960 Park Avenue for $11 million. The seller appears to be Jane Goldman Lewis, a child of the late Sol Goldman who, in his time, owned the largest real estate portfolio in New York City. When not walking on the flip side, Zeckendorf is no slouch in the real estate dynasty department, either. His grandfather, William “Big Bill” Zeckendorf, was a similarly legendary real estate titan in the years after World… Continue reading

February 26 2021

Florida, Man! Palm Beach Has a Moment

A year ago, I spent a week in Palm Beach and got the sense it was changing for the better.  On December 27, Departures published my “The New Palm Beach Story,” on the resort’s renaissance (it was behind a firewall until now). That was, of course, before the right-wing riot of January 6th, Joe Biden’s inauguration, and the return of Palm Beach’s favorite reality TV has-been. Since then, the same story has been told so many times it’s begun to seem Palm Beach may have jumped the shark. Or is that phrase as passé as the proprietor of Florida’s tackiest private club? Which, I’m proud to say, goes unmentioned here. I got that right, at least. Continue reading

February 23 2021

I’ve Been Hacked!

A hacker got into my web site and a number of past Gripepad posts were rendered unreadable–and can’t be recovered or repaired. If you tried to visit and were redirected in the past week or so, apologies.  That should not happen again.  If you see anything else out of the ordinary on the site, I hope you’ll let me know. I discovered the hack when I was looking for the post in which I first revealed problems at 432 Park–long before a local newspaper wrote about more at the 57th Street condo tower.  The hacked posts can’t be restored, alas. But my IT genius saved a lot of them, including the one I went looking for. Continue reading

December 30 2020

Howard Rubenstein, R.I.P.

In the winter of 1999, I spent several weeks shadowing the PR giant Howard Rubenstein for this New York magazine cover story, “Shadow Warrior”. I walked into the assignment a skeptic but finished it an admirer. Rubenstein, whose first real-estate developer client was Fred Trump, died yesterday at 88 years. He was small in stature but a giant of New York. Continue reading

December 17 2020

Jeffrey Epstein’s Alleged Procurer Arrested

Continue reading

December 16 2020

A Rogue’s Reward


Eleven-plus years after Rogues’ Gallery was published, I discovered this appreciation, penned by Steven Miller, a museum director (at Boscobel, one of my favorites), curator, educator and prolific writer, the latest entry in Amazon’s customer reviews:

“Having been in the museum field in various director and curatorial positions for fifty years, I can attest to the honesty and quality of this inside look at how these cultural institutions are governed and lead. The author has done impressive research into a realm rarely known or understood by the general public much less many in the museum profession. Museums have an aura and reputation that is commendable. How that is achieved and what is required to sustain much less…

Continue reading

December 10 2020

Going Negative

Pre-travel COVID testing can be a pain in the nose. Read all about it here in my debut on the Departures web site. Continue reading