Born in Los Angeles, Zoltan began sailing alone around the world at the age of 21 on his sailboat, The Way–his main cargo being 500 carefully chosen books, mostly classics. He’s visited over 100 countries, many as a journalist. He’s written for the The New York Times Syndicate, National Geographic.com, San Francisco Chronicle, The Daily Caller, Sail, Outside, and many other publications.
In his late 20s he began work with the National Geographic Channel–filming, writing, narrating, producing, and appearing in television news segments and webcasts. He also published photography and online articles for them about adventure, science, human rights, wildlife, and environmental issues.
His stories have also been featured on the Travel Channel, Animal Planet, BBC Radio, the Hungarian National, Television Channel, AOL Broadband, and the Associated Press Television Network, as well as NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and WB via the nationally syndicated, eight time Emmy-nominated show: Animal Rescue TV.
He’s filmed and created videos for nonprofits like WildAid and the Eikosphere Foundation.
His award-winning 60-minute documentary: Pawns of Paradise: Inside the Brutal Kashmir Conflict has shown in film festivals around the world. Janson Media has signed on to the sale and distribution of the show.
In addition to journalism, Zoltan was a director at the international conservation group WildAid; has logged over 400 dives as an archaeological diver for Guam’s renowned underwater treasure hunt:
The Pilar Project; and started and runs ZI Ventures. He holds a degree in Philosophy and Religion from Columbia University, and lives in San Francisco with his daughter and his wife, a physician.
ZI Ventures is a California-based enterprise created by American-Hungarian entrepreneur and
bestselling author Zoltan Istvan to combine his various companies and projects into one place. It
consists of Istvan Media, ZI Collection, Zolisa Vineyards, Futurity Imagine Publishing, and New Eden
At the age of 21, Zoltan began a solo, multi-year sail journey around the world. His main cargo was 500
handpicked books, mostly classics. He’s explored over 100 countries—many as an investigative
journalist for the National Geographic Channel—writing, filming, and appearing in dozens of webcasts,
articles, and television stories. His work has also been featured by The New York Times Syndicate,
Outside, San Francisco Chronicle, Sail, BBC Radio, NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, Animal Planet, and the Travel
Channel. In addition to his award-winning coverage of the war in Kashmir, he gained worldwide attention
for inventing and popularizing the extreme sport of volcano boarding. Zoltan later became a director for
the international conservation group WildAid, working with armed patrol units to stop the billion-dollar
illegal wildlife trade in Southeast Asia. Back in the states he started various successful businesses, from
real estate development to filmmaking to viticulture, joining them under ZI Ventures.
He is a philosophy and religious studies graduate of Columbia University and resides in San Francisco
with his daughter and his physician wife. Zoltan recently published The Transhumanist Wager, a
visionary novel describing apatheist Jethro Knights and his unwavering quest for immortality via science