Shirish V. Dáte was born in Pune, India, in 1964, moving to the United States three years later. He grew up in Waltham, Mass., Rochester, N.Y., and Anaheim, Calif., before graduating with a bachelor’s in political science from Stanford University in 1985.
Dáte was editor-in-chief of The Stanford Daily student newspaper, and has been a professional journalist ever since. He has covered criminal courts for the Middletown (N.Y.) Times-Herald Record, first Daytona Beach and then NASA for the Orlando Sentinel, and Florida state government for the Associated Press and the Palm Beach Post.
In 1994, Dáte and his wife sailed their 31-foot-cutter, Sounion, from Florida across the Atlantic and into the Mediterranean as far as Puerto Mahon in the Balearic Islands. They spent a year at sea, returning to Florida by way of the Canary Islands, the Cape Verde Islands, the Windward and Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, and finally the Bahamas.
It was on that sabbatical that Dáte wrote his first novel, Final Orbit, a murder mystery set aboard NASA’s space shuttle Columbia. It was published by Avon in 1997. His subsequent novels, Speed Week, Smokeout and Deep Water, are darkly comic thrillers that have been praised in the New York Times and the Washington Post and featured on NPR's "Fresh Air." All three were published by Putnam, which also published his fourth Florida satire, Black Sunshine. Dáte in 2004 published his first non-fiction work, Quiet Passion, a biography of former Florida senator and governor Bob Graham. It was released by Jeremy P. Tarcher, an imprint of Penguin, which has also published his second biography, Jeb: America's Next Bush. It was released in February 2007. Dáte is at work on his sixth novel, Foul Ball, a look at a Major League Baseball team owner's murderous craving for a new, half-billion dollar, retractable-domed, taxpayer-financed stadium, and is also starting a mystery series set aboard a sailboat in the Bahamas.
Dáte has won awards for his journalism, including a 2003 series exposing fraud and abuse in -- and prompting criminal investigations of -- Governor Jeb Bush's prized school voucher programs. His reporting in 2002 about the state House speaker’s hiring of an unqualified aide -- a former waitress at the Tallahassee Hooters restaurant -- led to his becoming the first reporter in history to be banned from that chamber.
He lives in Tallahassee with his wife and two sons.