Fatal Vision Author Joe McGinniss Dies at 71

In this Sept. 3, 2010 photo, Joe McGinniss, who is working on a book on former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, poses for a photograph at the home he's renting next to Palin's home in Wasilla, Alaska. Palin's neighbor of three months on Wasilla's Lake Lucille, is packing his bags and notebooks and leaving Sunday for his home in Massachusetts to write the book he has been researching on the former governor and GOP vice presidential candidate. (AP Photo/Dan Joling)
Photo: Dan Joling

Though his methods were often criticized, bestselling author and reporter Joe McGinniss, who died on Monday, definitely left his mark on the world of journalism. He rose to fame with the publication of The Selling of the President, his influential behind-the-scenes account of President Nixon’s 1969 campaign. It spent months on the best-seller list, and in 1983, he had another massive hit with Fatal Vision. The book covered the trial of Jeffrey MacDonald, a physician and former Green Beret convicted of murdering his family – and, controversially, McGinniss’s conclusion that his subject was guilty. His latest, less successful escapade involved penning the Sarah Palin biography The Rogue while renting the house next door to her in Wasilla, Alaska. McGinniss announced last year that he had inoperable prostate cancer, and he died due to complications related to the disease.