Berkow, Ira

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Ira Berkow, an American sportswriter. Berkow was born in Chicago, Illinois on January 7, 1940 and attended Roger C. Sullivan High School in the Rogers Park section of Chicago, where he graduated from in 1957. His college career began at Miami University (BA, 1963) and ended at Northwestern University (MSJ, 1965). His first post as a sportswriter was with the Minneapolis Tribune (1965-1967). He then moved on to the syndicated news service Newspaper Enterprise Association where he worked as a columnist and writer from 1967-1976. In 1981, he started as a sports feature writer and columnist for the New York Times . He remained at the New York Times until his retirement in 2007. Since retiring, he has continued writing books and documentary films about sports.

The book Rockin' Steady: A Guide to Basketball and Cool, which he wrote with Wilt Frazier, was named by the American Library Association as one of the Best Books for Young Adults in the last 75 years. His 1987 book, The Man Who Robbed the Pierre: The Story of Bobby Comfort, was awarded the Edgar Award for Best True Crime Book of the Year. In 2001 he won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for his article, "The Minority Quarterback" in a New York Times series titled, "How Race Is Lived in America." Other accomplishments include being the only sportswriter featured for five decades (since 1969) in the highly regarded publication, Best American Sports Writing ; and was featured in David Halberstam's 1999 edition of The Best American Sports Writing of the Century . Additionally many of his other works have been distinguished with awards. In 2005, Berkow was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. In 2009, the Roosevelt University in Chicago honored him with an Honorary Doctorate.

Although primarily a columnist, Berkow authored and coauthored numerous books. Here is a list of his works:

Oscar Robertson: The Golden Years. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall (1971) with Wilt Frazier, Rockin' Steady: A Guide to Basketball and Cool. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall (1974) Beyond the Dream: Occasional Heroes of Sports. New York: Atheneum (1975) Maxwell Street: Survival in a Bazaar. Garden City, NY: Doubleday (1977) The DuSable Panthers: The Greatest, Blackest, Saddest Team from the Meanest Street in Chicago. New York: Atheneum (1978) with Rod Carew, Carew. New York: Simon and Schuster (1979) Red: A Biography of Red Smith. New York: Times Books (1986) The Man Who Robbed the Pierre: The Story of Bobby Comfort. New York: Atheneum (1987) Pitchers Do Get Lonely, and Other Sports Stories. New York: Atheneum (1988) with Hank Greenberg, Hank Greenberg: The Story of My Life. New York: Times Books (1989) with Jackie Mason, How to Talk Jewish. New York: St. Martin's Press (1990) with Jim Kaplan, The Gospel According to Casey: Casey Stengel's Inimitable, Instructional, Historical Baseball Book. New York: St. Martin's Press (1992) To The Hoop: Seasons of a Basketball Life. New York: BasicBooks (1997) Court vision: Unexpected Views on the Lure of Basketball. New York: Morrow (2000) The Minority Quarterback, and Other Lives in Sports. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee (2002) Full Swing: Hits, Runs, and Errors in a Writer's Life. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee (2006) Summers in the Bronx: Attila the Hun and Other Yankee Stories. Chicago: Triumph Books (2009) The Corporal was a Pitcher: The Courage of Lou Brissie. Chicago: Triumph Books (2009)

Sources:

International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. "Ira Berkow." Accessed on August 17, 2010. http://www.jewishsports.net/BioPages/IraBerkow.htmlhttp://www.jewishsports.net/BioPages/IraBerkow.html Encyclopedia Judaica. Volume 3, 2nd Edition. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2007. Berkow, Ira. Maxwell Street: Survival in a Bazaar. Garden City, NY: DoubleDay, 1977.

From the guide to the Ira Berkow, papers, undated, 1960-2011, (American Jewish Historical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn New York Times Company records. A.M. Rosenthal papers, 1955-1994, 1967-1986 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Ira Berkow, papers, undated, 1960-2011 American Jewish Historical Society
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
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associatedWith Will, George F. person
associatedWith Wodehouse, P. G. (Pelham Grenville), 1881-1975 person
associatedWith Ziegler, Ronald L. (Ronald Louis), 1939- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
New York (N.Y.)
Subject
Jews--Sports--United States--History
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1940-01-07

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