By Wendy Coakley-Thompson: J. Randy Taraborrelli is an enviable position. Today, he drops Michael Jackson: The Magic, the Madness, the Whole Story 1958–2009, the re-release of his similarly titled 1991 bestseller. His new book, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, debuts mere weeks later on August 29. Not bad at all for a kid from Philly who admittedly stumbled into a career as a respected journalist and celebrity biographer.
Taraborrelli says that he didn’t prepare for his vaunted status in any way. He had no intention of being a celebrity biographer. He never even attended college. As a youngster, he worked diligently on a fan club for The Supremes – so diligently that Supreme Mary Wilson asked him to leave Philadelphia and move to Los Angeles. Taraborrelli’s only desire at the time was to work for The Supremes and, as he says, retire on their pension plan. Then The Supremes famously broke up. Short on plans, Taraborrelli knew one thing; he didn’t want to go back to Philadelphia. But, he says, “I knew I had to do something.”