October 31, 1927
Brooklyn, New York, United States
|Notable works||The Boys of Summer|
Roger Kahn (October 31, 1927 - February 6, 2020) was an American author, best known for his 1972 baseball book The Boys of Summer.
2 Writing career
5 Further reading
6 External links
Kahn's family first settled in the New York area in 1848, and he was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1927. Kahn attended Froebel Academy, a prep school, then Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn. Kahn has worked as a journalist, author, editor, and teacher. In 2004, he was named as the fourth James H. Ottaway Sr. Visiting Professor of Journalism at SUNY New Paltz.
Kahn married Joan Rappaport in 1950; they divorced in 1963. Their first child, daughter Elizabeth, died one day after birth in 1954. Their son, Gordon Jacques, was born in 1957.
Kahn married his second wife, Alice Lippincott Russell, in 1963; they divorced in 1974. They had a son, Roger Laurence, in 1964, and a daughter, Alissa Avril, in 1967. Their son, Roger, committed suicide in 1987.
Kahn lived in the Hudson Valley community of Stone Ridge, New York with his third wife, Katharine Colt Johnson, a psychotherapist, who he married in 1989. He was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame on April 30, 2006.
Kahn died in Mamaroneck, New York on February 6, 2020.
Kahn began his newspaper career in 1948, when he took a job as copy boy for the New York Herald Tribune. A keen Dodgers fan, he reported on their games over the 1952 and 1953 seasons. He became sports editor for Newsweek in 1956, and editor-at-large of the Saturday Evening Post in 1963. His best-known book is The Boys of Summer (1972), which examines his relationship with his father seen through the prism of their shared affection for the Brooklyn Dodgers. In 2002, a Sports Illustrated panel placed The Boys of Summer second on a list of "The Top 100 Sports Books of All Time".
In addition to The Boys of Summer, Kahn wrote books such as Good Enough to Dream, a chronicle of his year as the owner of a minor league baseball franchise; The Era 1947–57, an examination of the decade during which the three New York clubs – the Dodgers, Yankees and Giants – dominated Major League Baseball; and Memories of Summer, a look back at his youth and early career, plus extended pieces on New York baseball legends Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle. He also wrote a biography of the heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey, entitled A Flame of Pure Fire.
Kahn's 2006 book Into My Own is a memoir describing friendships with Robert Frost, Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Eugene McCarthy, and, in its last chapter titled Rescuing Roger, his late son, Roger Laurence Kahn, who suffered from bipolar disorder and heroin addiction, spent time with Michael DeSisto at the DeSisto School, and who committed suicide via carbon monoxide poisoning in 1987. Andrew Ervin wrote in The Washington Post that the book "proves that Kahn's not only a great baseball writer but also something rarer: a great writer whose subject happens to be baseball."
Kahn cites as his journalism influences, Stanley Woodward, John Lardner, and Red Smith. He has won the E. P. Dutton Award for best sports magazine article of the year five times, and tied for first once.
Mutual Baseball Almanac (1955), edited with Al Helfer
The World of John Lardner (1961), edited
Inside Big League Baseball (1962)
The Passionate People: What it Means to be a Jew in America (1968)
The Battle for Morningside Heights: Why Students Rebel (1970)
The Boys of Summer (1972)
How the Weather Was (1973)
A Season in the Sun (1977)
But Not to Keep: A Novel (1979)
The Seventh Game (1982)
Good Enough to Dream (1985)
Joe & Marilyn: A Memory of Love (1986)
Pete Rose: My Story (1989), with Pete Rose
Games We Used to Play: A Lover's Quarrel with the World of Sport (1992)
The Era: 1947–1957, When the Yankees, the Giants, and the Dodgers Ruled the World (1993)
Memories of Summer: When Baseball was an Art and Writing About it a Game (1993)
A Flame of Pure Fire: Jack Dempsey and The Roaring Twenties (1999)
The Head Game: Baseball Seen from the Pitcher's Mound (2000)
October Men: Reggie Jackson, George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin, and the Yankees' Miraculous Finish in 1978 (2002)
Into My Own: The Remarkable People and Events That Shaped a Life (2006)
Rickey & Robinson: The True, Untold Story of the Integration of Baseball (2014)
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