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Ira Berkow (born January 7, 1940, in Chicago, Illinois) is an American sports reporter, columnist, and writer. He shared the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, which was awarded to the staff of The New York Times for their series How Race Is Lived in America.


Berkow earned his BA in English Literature at Miami University, and his MA from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University.[1][2]

He was a reporter for the Minneapolis Tribune, a syndicated features writer, sports and general columnist, and sports editor for the Newspaper Enterprise Association.[3]

From 1981 to 2007 he was a sports reporter and columnist for The New York Times[4][5] and has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Art News, Seventeen, Chicago Magazine, The Chicago Tribune Magazine, National Strategic Forum Review, Readers' Digest, and Sports Illustrated, among others.[6]

He shared the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for his article "The Minority Quarterback"[7] in The New York Times series How Race Is Lived in America. [8][9] His work has been reprinted or cited over six decades in the annual anthologies Best Sports Stories and its successor Best American Sports Writing, and a column of his was included in Best American Sports Writing of the Century (1999). The novelist Scott Turow wrote, "Ira Berkow is one of the great American writers, without limitation to the field of sports."

He was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1988, "For thoughtful commentary on the sports scene."[10]

In 2006, he was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.[11] He holds an honorary doctorate degree from Roosevelt University (Chicago), 2009.

Berkow is the author of 25 books including the Edgar Allan Poe Award nominated non-fiction The Man Who Robbed The Pierre: The Story of Bobby Comfort and the Biggest Hotel Robbery Ever.[12]





  1. ^ "Ira H. Berkow". Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  2. ^ "Ira Berkow Papers at the American Jewish Historical Society". American Jewish Historical Society. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  3. ^ "Sportswriter Ira Berkow Reminiscence". Retrieved December 22, 2010.
  4. ^ "Ira Berkow". Retrieved June 5, 2011.
  5. ^ "Sportswriter Ira Berkow Reminiscence". Retrieved December 22, 2010.
  6. ^ "Ira Berkow". Retrieved June 5, 2011.
  7. ^ Ira Berkow (July 2, 2000). "The Minority Quarterback". The New York Times. Retrieved June 5, 2011.
  8. ^ "Ira Berkow". January 7, 1940. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
  9. ^ "Pulitzer Series". Retrieved December 22, 2010.
  10. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes | Finalists". February 20, 1988. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
  11. ^ International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame (2010). "Ira Berkow". Retrieved December 22, 2010.
  12. ^ "Edgar Award Winners and Nominees". Mystery Writers of America. Retrieved June 5, 2011.

Further readingEdit

  • Ruttman, Larry (2013). "Ira Berkow: New York Times Journalist, Author, Pulitzer Prize Winner, and Jewish Son". American Jews and America's Game: Voices of a Growing Legacy in Baseball. Lincoln, Nebraska and London, England: University of Nebraska Press. pp. 147–156. ISBN 978-0-8032-6475-5. This chapter in Ruttman's history, based on a June 28, 2008 interview with Berkow conducted for the book, discusses Berkow's American, Jewish, baseball, and life experiences from youth to the present.

External linksEdit