The Agent

My 40-Year Career Making Deals and Changing the Game

Leigh Steinberg with Michael Arkush

Thomas Dunne Books

The real-life "Jerry Maguire," superagent Leigh Steinberg shares his personal stories on the rise, fall, and redemption of his game-changing career in the high-stakes world of professional sports

Leigh Steinberg is renowned as one of the greatest sports agents in history, representing such All-Pro clients as Troy Aikman, Bruce Smith, and Ben Roethlisberger. Over one particular seven-year stretch, Steinberg represented the top NFL Draft pick an unheard of six times. Director Cameron Crowe credits Steinberg as a primary inspiration for the titular character in Jerry Maguire, even hiring Steinberg as a consultant on the film. Lightyears ahead of his contemporaries, he expanded his players' reach into entertainment. Already the bestselling author of a business book on negotiation, the original superagent is now taking readers behind the closed doors of professional sports, recounting priceless stories, like how he negotiated a $26.5 million package for Steve Young—the biggest ever at the time—and how he passed on the chance to represent Peyton Manning.

Beginning with his early days as a student leader at Berkeley, Steinberg details his illustrious rise into pro sports fame, his decades of industry dominance, and how he overcame a series of high-profile struggles to regain his sobriety and launch his comeback. This riveting story takes readers inside the inner circle of top-notch agents and players through the visionary career of Leigh Steinberg, the pre-eminent superagent of our time.


Read an Excerpt


It did not take me long to make the papers for the first time.
“Warren and Betty Steinberg presented John Steinberg with his first grandchild yesterday, a boy, at Cedars,” it was reported in the March 29, 1949, edition of The Hollywood Reporter, the popular daily trade publication for the movers and shakers in show business.
“He’s happier about that than the opening of the swank new Hillcrest.”
If that were, indeed, the case, then Grandpa must have been overjoyed, for he was totally committed to his job managing


Praise for The Agent

A New York Times bestseller!


“NFL crazies will eat this like snack food.”—Kirkus Reviews


On Leigh Steinberg:

“It's fashionable now, after the movie, for a lot of agents to talk about heart, but Leigh was the only one talking like that in 1993, when I began research.” —Cameron Crowe, director of Jerry Maguire

“Leigh Steinberg was the greatest sports agent in history.” —Forbes

“There really is a Jerry Maguire. Only he's not some schlumpf struggling to make it on a wing and a prayer like Tom Cruise in the movie. . . . His name is Leigh Steinberg, and [he] also happens to be the pre-eminent sports agent of our time.” —San Francisco Examiner

"Many sought out Leigh and he easily could have concentrated his attention elsewhere, but he so believed in me and my future that he stuck with me…A man of integrity and foresight, Leigh emphasized empowering his clients in order that they not be manipulated nor taken advantage of, thereby transcending and supplanting the 'agent' stigma of the time. "—from the Foreword by Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon



Reviews from Goodreads



  • Leigh Steinberg with Michael Arkush

  • LEIGH STEINBERG founded his sports law practice in 1975 and has since represented over 150 professional athletes. Currently President and CEO of Steinberg Sports and Entertainment and an advocate for player safety, he contributes a weekly column to Forbes and The Huffington. The author of the bestselling book Winning With Integrity, Steinberg lives in Newport Beach, CA.

    MICHAEL ARKUSH has written 10 books, including Rush! and The Last Season.

  • Leigh Steinberg © Jebb Harris
    Leigh Steinberg
  • Michael Arkush © Pauletta Walsh


Available Formats and Book Details

The Agent

My 40-Year Career Making Deals and Changing the Game

Leigh Steinberg with Michael Arkush



Thomas Dunne Books