Andrew Smith was born in Greenwich Village, New York, to English parents. A spell living in San Francisco was followed by relocation to the UK, where school classmates at included the artist Dinos Chapman and future Spice Girls/American Idol svengali Simon Fuller – who managed Smith’s fourth form band, but could do nothing to save them.
After studying philosophy and politics at the University of York, Smith moved to London, where he worked as a van driver, in music stores and as a musician (at one point failing a hilarious audition for The Clash), before finally submitting to his first love, which was writing.
Starting at the music paper Melody Maker, he moved rapidly to The Face, Guardian, Sunday Times and Observer as a feature writer. Along the way, there were articles on crop circle hoaxers; the ecstasy testers of Amsterdam; the secret world under London and human rights work of Bianca Jagger, not to mention interviews with everyone from Madonna to the architect Richard Rogers, artist Damien Hirst and amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos.
In 2002, Smith left journalism to write his international bestseller Moondust: in Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth. Describing his search for the nine remaining men who walked on the moon between 1969 and ’72, Moondust was nominated for two British Book Awards and chosen by the (London) Times as one of its ‘100 Best Books of the Noughties’.
He now divides his time between books and making documentary films. His latest book, Totally Wired: on the Trail of the Great Dotcom Swindle, is about the bizarre rise and fall of the New York web pioneer Josh Harris, published September 2012 by Simon & Schuster in the UK – and on Kindle/ebook in the US.