John Berendt (born December 5, 1939) is an American author, known for writing the bestselling nonfiction book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which was a finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction. He grew up in Syracuse, New York and majored in English at Harvard University. Berendt was once the editor of New York Magazine, and he also made a living by writing and editing for several magazines, with a regular column in Esquire. Berendt began traveling frequently experiencing his first trip to Savannah in 1982. After several return trips, he made Savannah his primary home. The best selling novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is Berendt's account of living in Savannah with the mix of people ranging from well-bred socialites to outrageous black drag queens. One morning, Berendt was informed that Jim Williams, an antique dealer and owner of the Mercer House, had shot his housemate Danny Hansford. The story centers around the murder and the bizarre events following the shooting that led to Williams' four murder trials, a Georgia record. Berendt is also the author of The City of Fallen Angels, which is set in Venice.