Michael Esslinger is a historical researcher whose acclaimed work has appeared in numerous books, film and television documentaries worldwide, including segments on the Discovery, National Geographic, and History Channels. Esslinger is the author of two books chronicling the history of Alcatraz. In May of 2003 he published: Alcatraz A Definitive History of the Penitentiary Years. Hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the most meticulously detailed histories ever written the subject, it has remained a best-selling reference since its publication. His second work on Alcatraz entitled: Letters from Alcatraz, published in 2007, is a collection of letters and views from Alcatraz inmates, family members and prison officials both in and outside of the infamous prison.
He is also the author of the forthcoming reference chronicling Mans first expeditions to the moon entitled: APOLLO - A Definitive History of the Apollo Lunar Expeditions. His research resulted in one of the most comprehensive assemblages of information on the Apollo Program, derived from intensive archival research and in-depth one-on-one interviews, including the elusive Apollo 11 Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin. He remains one of the foremost historians on the Apollo Program.
He is a native California coastal resident along with his wife and two sons, and frequently participates in the guest author program on Alcatraz Island.