Kevin O'Keefe's The Average American
The Extraordinary
Search for the Nation's Most Ordinary Citizen became a 
national bestseller soon after its debutIts regional success
includes its ranking sixth on The Patriot Ledger's South Shore
Bestsellers list for the Boston-to-Cape Cod metropolitan area. 

The nonfiction book has been required reading for students
at many high schools and colleges and—from businesses in
the United States to HSBC offices in India to the 
U.S. Embassy in Vienna, Austria—diversity of 
employees worldwide.

Published by PublicAffairs and Chilva and optioned by Fox
TV Studios, The Average American has been credited as
the inspiration for many other searches for statistically
average people, places and things.

Excerpts of television discussion about The Average American including with author Kevin O'Keefe



Kevin O'Keefe is an award-winning
business management and marketing
expert and technology entrepreneur
whose clients have included many national
and international brands. He is the founding
director of a New York City-based business
consultancy and president of
 New York Sports Experience and its
New York Sports Hall of Fame. 

Also an independent writer, O'Keefe has
been published 
in The New York Times 
other leading media outlets.

A former all-America athlete who grew
up in Connecticut, O'Keefe was named by
The Hartford Courant to its Connecticut's
Best of the Century team. He is a
volunteer youth-sports coach in
New York City, where he resides with his
wife and their three children and serves
as chair of the Environment and Parks
Committee of Manhattan's

O'Keefe is on Instagram and Twitter.


"When you peel back the numbers and look at the lives underneath, it turns out there's much to love . . . 
and much to learn, as Kevin 
O'Keefe discovered
. . . What O'Keefe 
found in his travels was . . . 
the wisdom of crowds, and 
pretty soon the average 
might just become your ideal"

Time—cover story

"The journey toward run-of-the-mill has never been so remarkable"


"overturn[s] commonly held notions of what the average American does and thinks . . . intriguing, combining as it does the elements of a detective story and the trivia interest of Ripley's Believe It or Not"

The New York Times 

"A demographic portrait that is distinct"

  The New Yorker

"an interesting journey [of] experiences and discoveries"

President Barack Obama in a letter to the author


"Reader perfect"

Book Reporter

"a twist of the sharpest citrus peel"

The Independent (Great Britain)

"a fun and informative way to find out just how average you are—or aren't"

American ProfileOur Picks selection

"a terrific book. You've got to pick it up and read it . . . a great story"

Steve Doocy on FOX & Friends

"a fun and fascinating story of all of us"

Catholic DigestTop Pick of the Month

"What a thoroughly delightful book. . . At the end of the book, O'Keefe reveals the identity of the Average American, but it is the search itself—and the author's exploration of the whole concept of being average—that makes this curious book so illuminating and enjoyable"


"has turned ordinary into an art"

Hannah Storm on CBS' The Early Show


The Hollywood Reporter

"great dinner conversation . . . get this book and see how average you are"

Martha Stewart on Martha

"Lessons about life that hit close to home"

Richard Schlesinger on CBS Evening News

"O'Keefe . . . has figured out what it means to be average in this country . . . I love his book"

Michael Smerconish on The Michael Smerconish Show

"a great American quest . . . transforms an inventory of statistical figures into real, human figures whose stories sound familiar, but surprise nonethless"

Rivet magazine

"extraordinary discoveries"

Life magazine

"a fascinating assortment of characters who are both surprising and familiar . . . a surprisingly good read"

Prosper magazine

"thought-provoking read . . . about the issues of our time"

U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (Louisiana)

"delightfully conceived and well-written . . . meticulously and painstakingly researched. There is a lot of suspense as well as a wealth of information"

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

"O'Keefe . . . gives readers a choice of what they want to absorb and keep . . . The Average American is a studious, well-researched look at the many types of lives that make up the United States and all that occupies our days . . . a unique viewpoint and the end result is surprising"   

Valley Scene magazine

"a lively, fact-filled trip"

Atlanta Journal-Constitution 


New York Post

"It's a great book. It's a fascinating read"

Jerry Doyle on The Jerry Doyle Show

"an interesting discovery"

The Washington Post

"O'Keefe wrote a fascinating study . . . a colorful and statistically accurate picture of the average American . . . His findings will challenge long-held, often even dogmatic views held by most Americans about the 'average' among them. This book is good reading for anyone who wants to understand the real world in which we operate"

The HS Dent Foundation—Recommended Reading List

"This fascinating, thought-provoking book debunks a lot of what politicians and the media would have us think about our friends and neighbors"

OutSmart magazine

"one of a rare breed: the truly informative, flowing nonfiction narrative. It's difficult to achieve such a thing in a non-biographical book, and one so laden with facts. Somehow, though, O'Keefe manages to retain the reader's attention while using the statistics to draw us even further into the story . . . I was impressed . . . the numbers in the context of a compelling array of experiences, which fueled further numerical analysis, was refreshing . . . enough to make me say 'Wow!'"

Toni Borland, Read It Now

"a lot of thought about whether average is a good thing, something to look down on, or something to aspire to"

Neal Conan on NPR's Talk of the Nation

"The American way of life"

Los Angeles Times

"the definitive average American"

New York Daily News


Houston Chronicle

"a real fun and funny book . . . an enlightening book about who we really turn out to be"

Colin McEnroe on Afternoons with Bruce and Colin (Connecticut)

"a lot of fun . . . It's genius, really, because we get to hear the stories of interesting people in the process"

Two Books A Week

"a keen sense of observation"

Tucson Citizen

"a lively, fun and thought-provoking read"

Grand Forks Herald (North Dakota)

"nice surprises . . . against what you hear on the media or see on television . . . make sure everyone gets . . . The Average American"

Kathryn Sox on Kathryn Zox Show (New York)

"a turn of events that could have come out of The Wizard of Oz"

Broadcaster North (Connecticut) 

"my new favorite author . . . Kevin O'Keefe has penned the book 'The Average American' . . . a hero to millions of men by now"

John Marx, The Dispatch (Illinois) 

"identifies—and celebrates—what it is to be an average American"

Salina Journal (Kansas)

"The book is greatly fascinating" 

Rick Crandall on Rick Crandall's Breakfast Club (Colorado) 

"An amazing story . . . In this period of debate over what constitutes being an American, [O'Keefe] has defined it"

Mark Mason on The Mark and Dave Show (Oregon)

"It's really such a heartbeat of America"

John Pendleton on The John Pendleton Show (Florida)

"It will teach you a lot about people"

Bob Rivers on The Bob Rivers Show (Washington)

"a wonderful new book . . . There's great humor" 

Gary O'Brien on Gary O'Brien and Friends (Illinois)

"a slice of everyday America, and it will make you pause and take stock of your life"   

The Hippo (New Hampshire)

"A wonderful story"

Lynn Cullen on The Lynn Cullen Show (Pennsylvania)

"a trivia buff's dream . . . If you're delighted by current events and enjoy knowing the minutiae of everyday life, resolve to read this book"

 Pahrump Valley Times (Nevada)

"fun . . . the ultimate segment . . . It's a great reminder that marketing segmentation is the science of finding"

Direct magazine

"I love the book . . . What I found intriguing, what I enjoyed the most in the book, were the interviews . . . A great book"

Connie Asero on Viewpoints (North Carolina)

"extremely interesting and pertinent as I travel the country"

U.S. Senator Mark Warner (Virginia)

"my wife could not put it down . . . The book is a great read, folks" 

Glenn Lance on The Morning Show on WKSR (Tennessee)

"I love this kind of thinking. The book, you have to read it . . .  to savor to the end"

Ron Ball on Coastal Daybreak (North Carolina)

"Entertaining and enlightening"

Hinton News (West Virginia)

"What does O'Keefe's search prove? That we're more unique than we think"

John Tesh on Intelligence for Your Life

"We have a good many pictures—and caricatures—of the typical American. But is that actually prevalent of the average American? Kevin O'Keefe has found the answer"

Dasgsavisen (Norway)

"an outstanding book . . . a keeper . . . recommended by just tons of people . . . some amazing people on the journey and I just got the biggest kick out of seeing how these people approached life"   

Rod Thulin on The Rod Thulin Show (Texas)

"an amazing story. The details of it are even more amazing"  

Tim Axelrod on The Tim Axelrod Show (Utah)

"a much interesting read"

U.S. Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (New York) 

 "A phenomenal book . . . A fantastic book . . . I have certainly been enlightened" 

Scott Chesney on Maximizing Life with Scott Chesney (VoiceAmerica) 

"A fascinating book . . . It grabs you . . . It's got everything you could possibly want " 

Reid Howell on KYMO Morning Show (Missouri)

"Fascinating. It truly is"

Jamie Phillips on Mix Morning Show (Iowa)

"O'Keefe . . . has done a remarkable job at finding out who is average" 

Jane Foy on WINA Morning Show (Virginia)

"highly informative and interesting"

U.S. Congressman Nick Rahall (West Virginia)

"A great book"

Nate Shelman on Alabama Mornings 

"an excellent book. Incredible . . . I like [O'Keefe's] whole style of checking out what's real"

Allen Handelman on The Allen Handelman Show

"In a nutshell, this is what America is . . . Awesome"

Matt McAllister on The Morning Show on KTYD (California)


"a fun account of a man's search for the 'average American'"

Michael Blasland and David Spiegelhalter in The Norm Chronicles (Machete) 

"In painstaking detail, O'Keefe described his arduous cross-country search . . . O'Keefe's quest . . . is valuable in helping understand the qualities that typical Americans hold . . . We think of O'Keefe's pursuit every time we set a mean or a median, particularly in a cross-cultural or international study, and we wonder just how does the average person in that study differ from everyone else from whom data was collected"

Susan A. Nolan and Andrew F. Simon in Cross-Cultural Psychology (John Wiley & Sons) 

Among other authors who have addressed The Average American in their books:

John Gerzema and Ed Lebar in The Brand Bubble (Wiley)

David A. Livermore in Cultural Intelligence (Baker Academic)

Kenneth D. Keith in Culture Across the Curriculum (Cambridge University Press)

Pedro Domingos in The Master Algorithm (Basic Books)

Cristian Campos in Plastic (HarperCollins)


"Delightful goodness . . . O'Keefe rattles off statistics and draws you in"

Pastor Doug Serven, 
City Presbyterian Church—Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

"O'Keefe experiences a deep and profound appreciation . . . for ordinary life in all its glory" 

Senior pastor Rick Vincent, Immanuel Church—West Bend, Wisconsin

Among others who have addressed The Average American in sermons:

Minister Timothy Merrill, Henderson Community Church—Henderson, Colorado

Founding Pastor Steve Jackson, NewSong Community Church—Cumming, Georgia

Rector Bill Stoop, St. George's Epsicopal Church—Roseburg, Oregon

Pastor Norman Russell, North Bend Church of Christ—North Bend, Oregon

Senior Pastor J. Lawrence Cuthill, Winter Park Presbyterian Church—Winter Park, Florida

Lead Pastor Brad Mather, Bethany United Methodist Church—Madison, Wisconsin

Pastor Charles Exley, St. Luke Lutheran Church—Albuquerque, New Mexico

Pastor Dewey Johnson, Grace Presbyterian Church—Crystal City, Missouri

Pastor Henry Brinton, Fairfax Presbyterian Church—Fairfax, Virginia

Reverand Brad Beeman, Santa Monica First United Church—Santa Monica, California

Pastor Scott Carmer, Calvery United Methodist Church—Fort Wayne, Indiana

Senior Minister Dale Rosenberger, Dennis Union Church—Dennis, Massachusetts



Alabama Book Festival (Montgomery)
Auburn University (Auburn)

Livermore Reads Together (Livermore)

Arcadia Coffee Company (Old Greenwich)
Borders (Farmington)
Chaplin Elementary School (Chaplin)
E.O. Smith High School (Storrs)
New Canaan Library (New Canaan)
UConn Co-op Bookstore (Storrs)
Windham Tech (Windham)

Eagle Hill School—commencement address (Hardwick)

New York:
BookExpo America (Manhattan)
Brooklyn Public Library (Brooklyn)
KGB Bar (Manhattan)
Morgan Stanley (Manhattan)
PwC (Manhattan)
The New York Times Great Read in the Park (Manhattan)

South Carolina:
Renaissance Weekend (Charleston)
South Carolina Book Festival—keynote address (Columbia)

Virginia Festival of the Book (Charlottesville)  

Television Appearances

Town Talk (Charter Communications)

New York:
Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN)
CBS Evening News
CNN Live
FOX & Friends
Good Morning America (ABC)
Martha (syndication)
Showbiz Tonight (CNN)
The Early Show (CBS)
Westerman's Nieuwe Wereld (The Netherlands)
Nitebeat with Barry Nolan (CN8)

South Carolina:
BookTV (C-SPAN2)

BookTV (C-SPAN2)

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