Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Essayist, mathematical statistician, risk analyst, and aphorist.


Ranked #40 in 2009.


Fooled by Randomness was selected by Fortune as one of the 75 smartest books of all time.


The Black Swan was described by The Sunday Times as one of the 12 most influential books since World War II.


Taleb’s five-volume Incerto series, which includes The Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness books, is described as an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision making when we don’t understand the world, expressed in the form of a personal essay with autobiographical sections, stories, parables, and philosophical, historical, and scientific discussions in nonoverlapping volumes that can be accessed in any order.” Taleb’s work has been published in 49 languages. 


Taleb spent 21 years as a risk taker (quantitative trader) before becoming a researcher in philosophical, mathematical and (mostly) practical problems with probability. In addition to his trader life, Taleb has also written more than 70 technical and scholarly papers in mathematical statistics, genetics, quantitative finance, statistical physics, medicine, philosophy, ethics, economics, and international affairs, around the notion of risk and probability. Taleb is currently distinguished professor of risk engineering at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering (retired) and his current focus is on the properties of systems that can handle disorder. 


Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets (Random House, 2001); The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Probable (Random House, 2007); The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms (Penguin, 2010); AntiFragile: Things that Gain from Disorder (Random House, 2012); Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life (Penguin, 2017).

NATIONALITY: Lebanese-American

Media picks


“The Black Swan changed my view of how the world works.”

Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow

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