Beautiful Boy is based on David Sheff's article "My Addicted Son," which appeared in the New York Times Magazine. The article won a special award for Outstanding Contribution to Advancing the Understanding of Addictions from the American Psychological Association and inspired (and continues to inspire) hundreds of letters from readers, many of whom are suffering from addiction or the addiction of a loved one.
Beautiful Boy, a number-1 New York Times Best Seller, was named the Best Nonfiction Book of 2008 by Entertainment Weekly. Sheff's research and writing about this subject is ongoing; most recently, he contributed to the HBO book Addiction: Why Can't They Just Stop.
Along with The New York Times Magazine, Sheff, a contributing editor to Playboy, has also written for The New York Times, Wired, Fortune, Rolling Stone, Outside, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Esquire and Observer Magazine in England, Foreign Literature in Russia, and Playboy (Shueisha) in Japan. He has conducted seminal interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, nuclear physicist Ted Taylor, Congressman Barney Frank, Steve Jobs, Ansel Adams, Thomas Friedman, the founders of Google, Tom Hanks, Betty Friedan, Keith Haring, Jack Nicholson, Carl Sagan, Larry Ellison, Salman Rushdie, and others. He also wrote an award-winning documentary about John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath for National Public Radio, and wrote and edited Heart Play: Unfinished Dialogue, which won a Grammy Award nomination for Best Spoken Word Recording of 1984.