Journalist and author.

The Santa Claus Man

New York Times Best Seller
#1 Amazon Best Seller
Barnes & Noble


Alex Palmer is a journalist and New York Times–bestselling author who covers travel, culture, and history. His work has appeared in Esquire,, Mental Floss, Lifehacker, New York Daily News, United Airlines' Rhapsody, Slate, Vulture, Time Out New York, Publishers Weekly, The Rumpus, and many other outlets.

The son of two teachers, his love of learning and sharing surprising stories behind familiar subjects has led him to become a secret-history sleuth. His New York Times bestselling book The Santa Claus Man: The Rise and Fall of a Jazz Age Con Man and the Invention of Christmas in New York gave him the chance to delve into the roots of modern Christmas and surprisingly controversial history of Santa letters, through the true story of a New York City huckster — a man who also happened to be Palmer's great-granduncle. It enjoyed widespread coverage in The New York Times, BBC, Smithsonian, New York Post, and more, and was named one of the best New York City books of the year by The Bowery Boys. It also led to speaking engagements at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, New York Public Library, and the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum.

He is the author of four other nonfiction books that look at the surprising facts below the surface of familiar things: Happiness Hacks out May 2018, which offers readers science-based tips for adding more joy and satisfaction to their lives, which happiness research pioneer Tal-Ben Shahar called “engaging, encouraging, and may even change your life.” His book Weird-o-Pedia, a collection of surprising facts about everyday things, now in its second edition, has sold into Urban Outfitters and Costco, and is now being expanded into a series. He is also the author of Alternative Facts, now in its second printing, and Literary Miscellany, which enjoyed coverage in USA Today and elsewhere.


Email: alexpalmer3000 {at}


Michelle Tessler, Tessler Literary Agency

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