A Short Biography of Broughton Coburn

Coburn has written magazine articles for New Age, Rock and Ice, The Denver Post Magazine, Co-Evolution Quarterly, Worldview and other magazines. He toured 18 cities for his first two books, 7 cities for Everest: Mountain Without Mercy, and delivered presentations at 8 Everest IMAX film premieres.

Coburn also authored a young adult photo-biography of Sir Edmund Hillary, Triumph on Everest, for National Geographic Books. This was selected as a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People for 2001 by the National Council for Social Studies and the Children's Book Council. In April of 2001 his collaboration with Jamling Tenzing Norgay, Touching My Father's Soul: A Sherpa's Journey to The Top of Everest (HarperSanFrancisco), his fifth book, reached #7 on the prestigious BookSense list, #24 on the New York Times list, was granted an Honorary Mention at the 2001 Banff Mountain Book Festival, and was a finalist for the coveted 2001 Books for a Better Life Award.

Broughton Coburn graduated from Harvard College in 1973, then fulfilled a destiny with the Himalayas -- where he has worked two of the past three decades. He developed documentary films and oversaw environmental conservation and development efforts for the World Bank, UNESCO, World Wildlife Fund, and other agencies. But he's known mainly as an author.

Two of Coburn's books form the foundation for the Aama's Journey illustrated program. Nepali Aama: Life Lessons of a Himalayan Woman (Anchor/ Doubleday; now in its fourth edition), documents Aama's life as an elderly, subsistence farmer in the foothills of the Himalayas. The sequel, Aama in America: A Pilgrimage of the Heart (Anchor/Doubleday) is the dramatic and poignant tale of their 12,000 mile odyssey in search of the soul of the United States. In addition to acclaim as an illustrated lecture program, this story has been widely excerpted and a feature film screenplay is in progress.

In 1997, Coburn was awarded the American Alpine Club's Literary Achievement Award for his body of work. His third book, Everest: Mountain Without Mercy, (National Geographic Books) reached #17 on the New York Times Bestseller list and was selected as "Pick" for 1997 by Publisher's Weekly. It has sold over 400,000 copies-an unusual showing for a large format illustrated book.

Together, Coburn's three books about the people, environment and challenge of Mt. Everest form the basis for his illustrated program, Everest: To the Top of the World.

In addition to lecturing, Broughton Coburn is now editing a large format book on the Himalaya, and is writing a series of historical fiction titles set in the Himalaya in the 1960s and '70s. He is also the Special Projects Director for the American Himalayan Foundation, a charitable organization based in San Francisco that brings education, health care and environmental conservation to villagers like Aama.

Reduced price copies of Aama in America, Nepali Aama and the three Everest books are available from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.