Bethany McLean is an American business journalist and author. She is most famous for her work at Fortune Magazine and Vanity Fair. McLean is also the co-author of the book, The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron.
McLean was born in 1971 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She attended Harvard University, where she earned a degree in history and literature. After graduating, McLean worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company.
McLean began her career in journalism at Fortune Magazine in 1998. She quickly gained a reputation for her in-depth investigations and analytical skills. She wrote about corporate accountability, the Enron scandal, the housing bubble, and more. Her work at Fortune earned her awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, the Gerald Loeb Award, and the Society of Professional Journalists.
In 2005, McLean moved to Vanity Fair magazine. At Vanity Fair, she wrote about a variety of topics, including the financial crisis, the Bernie Madoff scandal, and more. She also wrote a series of profiles of corporate executives, including Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Elon Musk.
In 2004, McLean published her first book, The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron. The book was a best seller and was later made into a documentary.
In 2015, McLean co-authored a second book, All The Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis. The book was published in 2016 and was a New York Times best seller.
McLean is a frequent commentator on business and financial issues. She is a regular guest on CNBC, CNN and Fox Business. She has also appeared on PBS and The Colbert Report.
McLean currently lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters. She continues to write for Vanity Fair and other outlets. She is also a regular speaker at business schools and conferences.