Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Ira Berkow  

Pen Name: None

Genre:

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1940 in Chicago, Illinois


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Illinois Connection

Berkow was born and raised on the west side of Chicago. He earned his MA from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University.

Biographical and Professional Information

Ira Berkow is a Pulitzer Prize-winning sports reporter and columnist. After 26 years at the New York Times, he retired in 2007. He has also written articles for many magazines including but not limited to ''Esquire'', ''The New York Times Magazine'', ''Art News'', ''Chicago Magazine'', ''The Chicago Tribune Magazine'', ''Readers' Digest'' and ''Sports Illustrated''.Berkow shared a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2001 and was a Pulitzer finalist for Commentary in 1988. He is the author of numerous books, including ''The Corporal Was a Pitcher'', ''Rockin’ Steady'', and ''Summers in the Bronx'', the bestsellers ''Maxwell Street: Survival in a Bazaar and Red: A Biography of Red Smith'', as well as two memoirs, ''Full Swing'' and ''To the Hoop''. He was the coauthor and editor of ''Hank Greenberg: The Story of My Life'', which was a primary source for the award-winning documentary ''The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg''. He now lives in New York City.


Awards

Ira Berkow received the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for his article ''The Minority Quarterback'' in the New York Times series ''How Race is Lived in America''. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer in 1988 for Distinguished Commentary.

The Man Who Robbed The Pierre

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)

Selected Titles At Your Library

Autumns in the Garden :
ISBN: 9781623683757. OCLC Number: 855504098

Triumph Books,. .

Featuring 25 years' worth of columns from one of New York's most popular sportswriters, this collection is guaranteed to delight Knickerbockers fans of all ages. These unforgettable opinions, stories, and observations from New York Times columnist Ira Berkow capture the spirit of the Knicks, from memories of Red Holzman and Earl Monroe to reflections on Carmelo Anthony and Jeremy Lin. As the 2013 team celebrates the 40th anniversary of their 1973 NBA championship, this book enlightens fans on the entire colorful history of the franchise.

Beyond the dream :
ISBN: 0803215959. OCLC Number: 181368704

University of Nebraska Press,. .

Beyond the Dream.
ISBN: 1626813841. OCLC Number: 908244744

Diversion Books,. .

One of sportswriting's greatest luminaries paints a stirring portrait of the athlete. In his career as a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Ira Berkow has chronicled the life of an athlete at every level of competition. There are the kids on neighborhood fields and courts, dreaming of stardom. There are the rookies, finally playing in the top leagues on the planet, learning to walk before they can run, before they can soar. There are the superstars, dominating their sports. There are the once-greats, now using experience and wisdom where once athletic prowess was enough. And there are the retirees, those whose glory days are behind them, either ballasted or burdened by legacy. There are also those who orbit the athlete, from writers to broadcasters, from promoters to fans. And there are those who never made it, who fell short or burned out. Ira Berkow looks at all of these men and women, through the lens of remarkable careers of some of sports greatest athletes: Muhammad Ali, Ted Williams, Chris Evert, Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Joe DiMaggio, Hank Aaron, and countless others. The result of these seventy-three insightful, engaging, and wildly entertaining pieces is no ordinary view of sports but a composite of all games, all athletes, and the good and the bad in a life in sports.

Counterpunch :
ISBN: 9781623688226. OCLC Number: 872115573

. .

Spanning the period between 1967 and 2005, this compilation includes 84 of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ira Berkow's columns on boxing. Readers will meet some of the greatest names in the sport's history in the pages of this book, including Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Joe Louis, and Mike Tyson. Among the unforgettable stories gathered in this collection are the heated rivalry between Ali and Smokin' Joe Frazier, Tyson's infamous Bite Fight in 1997, and the will-he-or-won't-he retirement saga of Sugar Ray Leonard. Written in Berkow's gripping prose, the columns included in Counterpunch chronicle the most important moments in boxing over the last four decades--

Court vision :
ISBN: 0803262299. OCLC Number: 54759435

University of Nebraska Press,. .

"Ira Berkow presents a unique look at America's premier sport - and its fans - through interviews with a remarkable cross section of widely known and extraordinarily accomplished individuals in a variety of fields, who explain what the lure of basketball is for them. Berkow talked with Chris Rock, Woody Allen, Tom Brokaw, Saul Bellow, Johnnie Cochran, Jr., Walter Matthau, Nikki Giovanni, Donald Trump, Julia Child, Frank Stella, Erica Jong, Grover Washington, Jr., Seiji Ozawa, and Sharon Stone, among others, to uncover fresh, funny, controversial, and often surprising opinions about the teams and players who make the game intriguing."--Jacket.

DuSable Panthers.
ISBN: 1626813930. OCLC Number: 908244851

Diversion Books,. .

Twelve years before Kentucky and Texas Christian. Seven years after Jackie Robinson's first at-bat in the Majors. A color barrier in both sports and in America was shattered-by a team of teenage boys. The weight of a season and the weight of growing up are burdens enough. For a high school basketball team in Chicago in 1954, the weight of history joined them every time they stepped onto the court. The Wonder Five were from DuSable High School, a predominantly black area of Chicago, a city with a harrowing record on race relations. It is also one of America's preeminent basketball cities, and The Wonder Five's spectacular skill and immense poise carried them through the season and into the record books as the first all-black team, led by a black coach, to reach the highest levels of an organized, integrated, traditional sports program in America. When DuSable reached the finals of the state tournament for Illinois, it made history the minute its five starters stepped onto the court. Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Ira Berkow goes in-depth to explore the historical and sociological background that led to DuSable, as well as painting that championship game in his inimitable style. In one of the most emotional, suspenseful, and bizarre games that anyone had ever seen, DuSable played a team from Mount Vernon, a small, southern Illinois town, predominantly white, save for its one star player. What happened in the game, and the aftermath, changed the lives of these young men forever.

Full swing :
ISBN: 1566637554. OCLC Number: 153581404

Ivan R Dee, Inc.,. .

Gospel according to casey.
ISBN: 1938545176. OCLC Number: 894301939

Delphi Distribution Inc,. .

Hank greenberg :
ISBN: 0827606850. OCLC Number: 228121935

Jewish Publication Soc,. .

Hank Greenberg, the story of my life
ISBN: 9781461662389. OCLC Number: 823504913

Ivan R. Dee,. .

Once in a great while there appears a baseball player who transcends the game and earns universal admiration from his fellow players, from fans, and from the American people. Such a man was Hank Greenberg, whose dynamic life and legendary career are among baseball's most inspiring stories. The Story of My Life tells the story of this extraordinary man in his own words, describing his childhood as the son of Eastern European immigrants in New York; his spectacular baseball career as one of the greatest home-run hitters of all time and later as a manager and owner; his heroic service in World War II; and his courageous struggle with cancer. Tall, handsome, and uncommonly good-natured, Greenberg was a secular Jew who, during a time of widespread religious bigotry in America, stood up for his beliefs. Throughout a lifetime of anti-Semitic abuse he maintained his dignity, becoming in the process a hero for Jews throughout America and the first Jewish ballplayer elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Maxwell Street :
ISBN: 0385067232. OCLC Number: 3169670

Doubleday,. .

Maxwell Street is an open-air market on Chicago's West Side, the center of a ghetto about a mile square, where thousands of Jewish immigrants fleeing pogroms and persecution in Eastern Europe settled and first set up business in America between 1880 and 1924. This engrossing, lively and richly illustrated chronicle recreates the color, the diversity and the personality of Maxwell Street both through the author's recollections of his own childhood experience and the actual stories of many for whom Maxwell Street was the first taste of America.

Pitchers do get lonely, and other sports stories /
ISBN: 0140120459. OCLC Number: 18779257

Penguin Books,. .

Red :
ISBN: 9780803260405. OCLC Number: 123079267

University of Nebraska Press,. .

Rockin' steady :
ISBN: 1600785263. OCLC Number: 776201187

Triumph Books,. .

For millions of basketball fans in the 1970s, Walt "Clyde" Frazier defined the word cool. One of the greatest point guards in NBA history, Clyde guided the New York Knicks to their only two championships with a style and flair that was wholly his own. Back in 1974, Clyde and New York Times sportswriter Ira Berkow collaborated on a book that has become an iconic and much-sought-after piece of basketball history. Now, three decades later, Rockin' Steady: A Guide to Basketball & Cool is back with an all-new introduction, afterword, and everything that made it one of the most unusual sports books.

Rockin' steady :
ISBN: 1600788165. OCLC Number: 639165700

Triumph Books,. .

For millions of basketball fans in the 1970s, Walt Clyde Frazier defined the word cool. An iconic piece of basketball history and sports journalism, this meticulously documented account tells the story of one of the greatest point guards in NBA history and how he led the Knicks to their only two championships with a style and flair that was wholly his own. Now, three decades later, Rockin' Steady is back with an all-new introduction, afterword, and everything that made it one of the most unusual sports books of all time.

Summers at Shea :
ISBN: 9781600787751. OCLC Number: 829177768

Triumph Books,. .

Culled from 50 years' worth of columns from one of the country's most popular sportswriters, this work stands as a remarkable collection of opinions that is guaranteed to delight Mets fans of all ages. Former New York Times columnist Ira Berkow captures the spirit of the Mets in this unforgettable collection of opinions, stories, and observations from his long and distinguished career as he interviews and comments on the team. From memories of inaugural franchise manager Casey Stengel and Hall of Famer Tom Seaver to reflections on ace Johan Santana and the superstar David Wright, this collection combines Berkow's eye for detail with the comedy and drama revealed by the subjects themselves, bringing to life Mets' personalities from the last half century.

Summers in the Bronx :
ISBN: 9781600783920. OCLC Number: 852160195

Triumph Books,. .

Forty years of Yankee columns from one of New York's most popular sportswriters. Berkow captures the spirit of the Bronx Bombers in this collection of opinions and stories, guaranteed to delight fans of all ages.

The corporal was a pitcher :
ISBN: 1600781047. OCLC Number: 244420813

Triumph Books,. .

"Doc, I'll take my chances." With those words, Lou Brissie turned down what was described as the only way of saving his life, the amputation of his leg after a World War II artillery barrage. This is the moving story of a veteran's determination to pursue his dream of pitching in the big leagues, no matter how difficult the rehabilitation and how slim his chances. Library Journal Reviews.

The DuSable Panthers :
ISBN: 0689306121. OCLC Number: 3972077

Atheneum,. .

An account of the 1954 Illinois High School State Championship basketball game between the DuSable Panthers, the first all-black team to make the finals, and a team from Mount Vernon High School.

The minority quarterback, and other lives in sports /
ISBN: 1566635020. OCLC Number: 47927703

I.R. Dee,. .

In addition to his celebrated story of a white quarterback at an all-black college in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Berkow looks at a variety of sport's winners and losers, funny and tragic and inspiring, from the ballpark to the boxing ring.

To the hoop :
ISBN: 1566635489. OCLC Number: 53183277

I.R. Dee,. .

To the Hoop.
ISBN: 162681385X. OCLC Number: 908244687

Diversion Books,. .

Magic Johnson A good reporter can pick up a pen and chronicle the game of basketball, from its X's and O's to its personalities. A great reporter can put down the pen and pick up the rock. Ira Berkow has been many things in his life-a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, a respected columnist, and a passionate sports fan. He also knows how to thread a pass into the paint. In this wildly entertaining chronicle of his life as both a devotee and gym rat, Berkow writes with good humor and piercing insight about talking strategy with Walt Frazier, running the court with Oscar Robertson, and seeing the game from the inside. From his youth, playing on the courts in Chicago in the '40's and '50's to growing older and using the wisdom he's gained to school players half his age, Berkow retains a competitive spirit, and a deep love of hoops. This moving tale of love for the game, for his friends and family, and for life itself is a must-read for anyone who wants the ball when the game is on the line.

Wrigley Field :
ISBN: 1584799153. OCLC Number: 864533316

. .

This tribute to the one and only, written by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ira Berkow, is timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field in 2014. Wrigley Field brilliantly and beautifully documents the stadiums entire career through a decade by decade account, a priceless collection of historical photographs and memorabilia, and vivid first person reminiscences of the people to whom this great place has meant so much. Notable fans interviewed for this book include Barack Obama, Scott Turow, Joe Mantegna, Sara Paretsky, Jim Bouton, and George F. Will, among others.