Tom Sancton is a journalist, author, and jazz musician. He grew up in New Orleans, graduated from Harvard, and took a doctorate in Modern History at Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. A former writer, editor, and foreign correspondant for TIME magazine, he has written or co-written six books of fiction and non-fiction. In 2014, the French government named him a Chevalier (Knight) in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He currently divides his time between Paris and New Orleans.


Sancton’s latest work, published by Dutton in August 2017, is The Bettencourt Affair, the incredible French-based story of how a brash photographer and artist wheedled hundreds of millions of dollars out of the world’s then richest woman, L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, worth nearly $40 billion at the time of her death in 2017. The affair became a sensational cause célèbre  when Bettencourt's daughter sued her mother's protégé for elder abuse, touching off a scandal that riveted the nation, ensnared the French president, and climaxed in a courtroom drama whose aftershocks continue to reverberate.

Advance praise for The Bettencourt Affair:
“This book has it all! Money, class, art, greet, intrigue, seduction, betrayal, and politics…A family battle that shook France and will fascinate readers.”
              —Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs


“The Bettencourt Affair reveals the far-reaching tentacles of a sensational family squabble over the $40-billion L'Oréal fortune…It's an eye- popping, page-turning read."
              —John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

“A riveting, dishy account of one of France’s wealthiest families, whose Olympian grasp reaches scandalously deep into the French political world and the government."

             —Janet Maslin, New York Times