Dennis Overbye


Dennis Overbye (born June 2, 1944, in Seattle, Washington) is a science writer specializing in physics and cosmology and is the cosmic affairs correspondent for The New York Times.[1]


Overbye received his B.S. in physics from M.I.T.—where he was a member of the Alpha Mu chapter of Phi Kappa Sigma—in 1966. He started work towards a master's degree in astronomy from U.C.L.A. in 1970.

Overbye started his career by working as a scientist for Boeing and then other companies. In 1976 he became assistant editor at Sky and Telescope magazine. From 1976 to 1980 he was a senior editor at Discover magazine. Subsequently, he embarked on a freelance career, during which time he published articles in Time, Science, the Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times, among other publications.

He has written two books: Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos, about scientists and their quest to understand the universe, and Einstein in Love, dealing with Albert Einstein's youth and the controversy surrounding the degree to which Einstein's first wife, Mileva Marić, contributed to the theory of relativity.[2] He joined the staff of The New York Times in 1998 as deputy science editor, then switched to full-time writing. In 2014 he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting.[3]

Overbye lives in New York City with his wife, Nancy Wartik, their daughter Mira Overbye and two cats.


  • Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos: The Scientific Quest for the Secret of the Universe, Harper-Collins (1991), ISBN 0-06-015964-2 & ISBN 0-330-29585-3 (finalist, Nation Book Critics Circle Award for non-fiction). Second edition (with new afterword), Back Bay, 1999.
  • Einstein in Love: A Scientific Romance, Viking (2000), ISBN 0-670-89430-3



  1. ^ Overbye, Dennis (26 January 2021). "Did an Alien Life-Form Do a Drive-By of Our Solar System in 2017?". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  2. ^ Gerrard, Nicci (13 May 2001). "A genius - but you wouldn't want to marry him". The Observer. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
  3. ^ "2014 Pulitzer Prize Winners in Journalism, Letters, Drama and Music". The New York Times. April 14, 2014.

External linksEdit

  • Bio on
  • New York Times author index page
  • Interview with Overbye on the Marketing for Scientists blog