Laura Skandera Trombley is most recently the author of Mark Twain's Other Woman: The Hidden Story of His Final Years. She was raised in Southern California and attended Pepperdine University, where she earned her BA and MA, and the University of Southern California, where she earned a PhD in English literature. She is the president of Pitzer College in Claremont, California. She lives in Claremont with her husband and son.

Recent news reports that Mark Twain owned a vibrator have surprised his fans, but biographer Laura Skandera Trombley says Twain was a famously sexual man—and a bully who blackmailed his assistant, Isabel Van Kleek Lyon.

With his unusual white suit and copyrighted image, America’s favorite author was also its first modern celebrity. On the centenary of his death, Laura Skandera Trombley says that J Lo and others are following his example.