About Jeff Nichols

I was born in NYC on the upper-east-side of Manhattan in 1965. I came from what most would consider a privileged back ground. Like most wealthy white men of his generation my grandfather graduated from Yale (yes impressive then, but much more so now: more competition!) and then went on to become an accomplished wool merchant employing many people. My father went to Brown University and had a successful career in the newspaper/magazine business.

Hoping to launch me on the same course to prosperity (a virtual lay up if you were reasonably intelligent and came from a well-connected family) my parents enrolled me into The Trinity school, one of the most elite private schools in NYC (still is, it is probably not much of an over-statement to say that in the first grade many parents are already jockeying for positions to get there kid into the ivy league pipeline). Things were looking good; until the first week of school when even the lowest reading group could not accommodate me. The teacher identified me as drain on the class and I probably was.

Trinity did not know what to do with me; all they knew was that I had to go and go quick. These elite NYC schools and their parents were never all that partial to kids who slow up the class or "learn differently".(it is better today, for instance Brown University is know to bend over backwards to accommodate LD students) That's what they said about slow rich kids back in the day. "They learned differently". ADD was barely on the horizon.
I am not sure if they were dolling out Ritalin at the time, but it certainly was not as prevalent as it is today with kids almost practically eating the drugs out of Pez dispensers. Anyway, after Trinity showed me the door a plethora of tests ensued; even though I was bad academically, we held out hope that like Albert Einstein (the poster boy for dyslexia), I might be a genius so we ran off to get my IQ tested; the "a little bellow average" score did not help things - at twelve years old I was shipped off to boarding school.

While I am self-deprecating by nature I suppose I must try and toot my own horn

I got some good help along the way; some really great tutors; eventually I went to a pretty good college (Hobart '88 plus racked up nine graduate credits at Columbia University's Teachers College and nine at Fordham University and had a 3.0.) I was a full-time third-grade teacher in the South Bronx in 1990 P.S. 126: logged in more than 500 days as a sub; got my captains license (not easy test) and worked on Wall Street all with varying degrees of success.

I was also a stand-up comic for twelve years where I opened for top draws like Lewis Black, Pat Cooper and Robert Klein; as a regular MC at Stand UP NY comedy club I introduced acts like Chris Rock, Dave Attell and Robin Williams.

I have performed at over 100 colleges.

I have been on many radio shows across the country including several times on the Joey Reynold's show on WOR and the Howard Stern Show.

I have published more than 100 articles in magazines including NY Post; Penthouse, Dan's Papers, and The Long Island Pulse. I was a contributing editor for two years at the Improper Hamptonian Magazine.

I also started my own charter fishing business and eventually, my story was made into a movie, TrainWreck, (where I received a portion of budget) and of course the book has been published by Simon and Schuster. Not bad for a guy that still has a third grade reading level, (worse when I have to read out load) can't spell, and was told he would never be able to go to college. Again without great tutors and supportive parents I could have never done it.

I enjoy speaking at schools about learning disabilities and the dangers of drugs and alcohol. If I could stop one kid at each school from abusing A.D.D. medication I'd be happy.

Thanks for visiting this site. Here is me talking briefly about my book:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGB27sFFgE8

Here is the trailer for the movie:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbgAuHuL9DE
 



You can purchase my book online through Simon and Schuster or at Amazon.com.