Executive Editor, Travelers’ Tales
Larry Habegger was born in Minneapolis in 1952 and grew up in Minnesota’s landlocked expanses. As a child he had three compelling dreams: to see a mountain, to see an ocean, and to play Major League Baseball. He was able to fulfill two of those dreams. He saw his first ocean and mountain when he was 14 on a family trip from Minnesota to Florida. The closest he got to the Big Leagues was when he flied out against future Hall of Famer Dave Winfield when they faced each other in their teens in American Legion Baseball.
After graduating from Dartmouth College with a degree in English, he decided to see as much of the USA as possible, gradually making his way to San Francisco. He thought he would wait until he had seen more of America before going abroad, but an off-hand comment from a friend who was leaving in a few days for Central America set a spark to the kindling. In days, he was off on a whirlwind journey that took him from Mexico City to Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. Those sleepless nights on buses haunted his waking dreams, and upon returning to San Francisco he began planning his next escape.
Habegger began publishing his writing about adventure and offbeat travel in 1980. His travel stories have appeared in magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and abroad, including Outside, Travel & Leisure, and the Los Angeles Times. In the early 1980s he co-authored mystery serials for the San Francisco Examiner with James O’Reilly, his old friend from Dartmouth and former disc jockey partner. Since 1985 their safety and security column, “World Travel Watch,” has been syndicated in major newspapers in five countries. In 1993 Habegger and O’Reilly founded the publishing company Travelers’ Tales with James’s brother Tim. Larry and James have worked on more than fifty titles, winning many awards for excellence, including the Lowell Thomas Award for best travel book of the year. For many years, Larry has been an active member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and the Bay Area Travel Writers.
Habegger has visited almost fifty countries and six of the seven continents, traveling from the frozen arctic to equatorial rain forest, the high Himalayas to the Dead Sea. He lives with his family on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco where he has served on the board of directors of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers, a neighborhood community group, and is president of a grassroots organization formed to protect and maintain Telegraph Hill’s world-famous Grace Marchant Garden. He travels whenever possible, feeling that exposure to the greater world and its diverse cultures is the best way to understand yourself.