Biography

Author and filmmaker Robert Young Pelton is renown for overcoming extraordinary obstacles in his continued search for the truth. Pelton’s career consists of bypassing media, border guards, and military groups with the purpose of getting to the heart of the story. In his travels to and through the world’s most dangerous places, Pelton shares risks with his hosts and is often the sole surviving witness to history-shaping events. His recent journeys have taken him inside the siege of Grozny in Chechnya and to the battle of Qala-I-Jangi in Afghanistan. He was present at the rebel campaign to take Monrovia in Liberia, and accompanied the CIA in  the hunt for Bin Laden in Pakistan’s tribal areas. He kept company with insurgents during the war in Iraq, and spent four weeks with Blackwater, in the RPG Alley in Baghdad.

Pelton is also known for penetrating many of the world’s most dangerous terrorist, rebel, and paramilitary organizations. His goal as a neutral observer and accurate chronicler of events has earned him access to all sides of many wars, including being the solitary journalist in combat operations with US Special Forces in Afghanistan and other covert military groups.

Pelton’s travels have not been without penalty. He has been kidnapped by right wing death squads in Colombia, survived both a plane crash in Indonesia and a head-on motorcycle accident in Peru, and gracefully endured numerous detainments and attacks.

His access to forbidden areas has allowed Pelton to return home with unforgettable interviews and footage which he uses to write his articles, documentaries, and books. People around the globe were introduced to just one of the many characters from his travels when his world exclusive interview with American Taliban member, John Walker Lindh, was aired on CNN.

In addition to his work as Contributing Editor at National Geographic Adventure, Pelton has worked for Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, ABC News, CBS 60 Minutes, CNN, and other major media networks. His unique perspective, insight, and humor have made him a popular guest on news networks and entertainment shows, ranging from Oprah to NPR.

As an author, Pelton is best known for his classic underground guide to surviving danger: Robert Young Pelton’s The World’s Most Dangerous Places (Harper Collins), now in its fifth edition. His other books include Come Back Alive (Random House), his intense autobiography, The Adventurist (Broadway Books), and Three Worlds Gone Mad (Lyons Press), a book about the people he met while involved in three separate wars. His most recent works include Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror, a book about mercenaries and private contractors (Crown Publishers), and Raven (Penguin), a YA story based on his early childhood.

Want to know more about Robert Young Pelton? Check out his autobiography, The Adventurist.

RYP In The Press

INTERVIEW ISSUE 2012: ADVENTURER ROBERT YOUNG PELTON ON DANGEROUS PLACES

June 20, 2012

When Robert Young Pelton’s The World’s Most Dangerous Places was published in 1996, there wasn’t anything like it. (“One of the… More


Kill the Messenger

March 6, 2012

It was a star-filled night in Chechnya’s besieged capital of Grozny. The snow crunched under my feet as I walked… More


CBC News (Dec 2010): War-zone vacations pitched to tourists

January 21, 2011

Think of a packaged vacation and Iraq likely doesn’t come to mind. But a Swiss-based travel agency is offering just… More


The Herald Sun (Dec 2010): Thrill seekers hit war zones Afghanistan and Iraq

December 21, 2010

An Aussie travel company has holiday packages to Afghanistan and Iraq – and business is booming. But the Department of… More


USA Today (Dec 2010): Rather chat up a warlord than lie on a beach? Try a dangerous-places tour

December 21, 2010

For been-there, done-that adventurers seeking new (though not exactly cheap) thrills, a Switzerland-based tour operator has partnered with the author… More


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