Open main menu

Philip Caputo (born June 10, 1941) is an American author and journalist. He is best known for A Rumor of War (1977), a best-selling memoir of his experiences during the Vietnam War. Caputo has written 16 books, including two memoirs, five books of general nonfiction, and eight novels. His latest is the novel Some Rise By Sin, which was published in 2017 by Henry Holt.[1]

Philip Caputo
Caputo.Phil 7947.jpg
Born (1941-06-10) June 10, 1941 (age 78)
Alma materLoyola University Chicago
OccupationAuthor, journalist

Early life and careerEdit

Philip Caputo was born in Chicago, and raised in the suburbs of Berwyn and Westchester, Illinois. He attended Fenwick High School and Loyola University Chicago, graduating with a B.A. in English in 1964. From 1965–1966 Caputo served in the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) as an infantry lieutenant (platoon commander) in the United States Marine Corps. Caputo served in combat and earned several medals and awards upon completion of his tour of duty.

After serving three years in the Corps, Caputo began a career in journalism, joining the staff of the Chicago Tribune in 1968. In 1973, Caputo was part of a writing team that won the Pulitzer Prize for reporting on election fraud in Chicago. For the next five years, he was a foreign correspondent for the Tribune. He covered the fall of Saigon in 1975, and he worked in Italy, the Soviet Union and the Middle East.[2] In 1975 he was shot and wounded in the feet by a militiaman with an AK-47 during the Battle of the Hotels in Lebanon.[3][4]

Books and articlesEdit

Philip Caputo's memoir of Vietnam, A Rumor of War, has been published in 15 languages, and has sold two million copies since its publication in 1977. It is widely regarded as a classic in the literature of war. The book was adapted as a 1980 two-part TV movie of the same name, starring Brad Davis, Keith Carradine, Brian Dennehy, and Michael O'Keefe. A Fortieth Anniversary Edition of A Rumor of War was to be reissued in summer 2017.[5]

In 2013 he published a travel/adventure memoir The Longest Road: Overland in Search of America From Key West to the Arctic Ocean.[1] Some Rise By Sin (2017), his 16th book, is a novel about an American missionary priest struggling to save his Mexican parish from the ravages of a drug cartel.[6]

In addition to books, Caputo has published dozens of major magazine articles, reviews, and op-ed pieces in publications ranging from The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post to Esquire, National Geographic, and the Virginia Quarterly Review.[7]

Lecturing and televisionEdit

Caputo has lectured at approximately 20 universities and prep schools around the country, and has been a featured speaker for the National Book Committee, the American Library Association, and the American Publishers Association. He has participated in the Key West Literary Seminar, Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, Chicago Humanities Festival, and the Cheltenham Literary Festival in Cheltenham, England.

He has also worked as a screenwriter for Paramount Pictures and Michael Douglas Productions. Caputo has been a guest on the Charlie Rose Show and the Today Show. He has narrated or appeared in several TV documentaries on the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and other subjects.[2]



The Longest Road (2013) ISBN 978-1250048745

Means of Escape[8] (1991) ISBN 0060183128 OCLC 23732376

A Rumor of War (1977) ISBN 003017631X OCLC 2974701


Hunter's Moon (2019) ISBN 9781627794763

Some Rise by Sin (2017) ISBN 978-1627794749

Crossers (2009)

Acts of Faith (2005) ISBN 0375411666

The Voyage (1999)

Exiles (1997)

Equation for Evil (1996)

Indian Country (1987)

Delcorso's Gallery (1983)

Horn of Africa (1980)

General nonfictionEdit

Ten Thousand Days of Thunder (2005)

13 Seconds: A Look Back At the Kent State Shootings (2005) ISBN 1596090804

In the Shadows of the Morning (2002)

Ghosts of Tsavo (2002)



  1. ^ a b World Archipelago. "Philip Caputo". Macmillan.
  2. ^ a b "About Phil". Philip Caputo.
  3. ^ "To save lives, shrink gun magazines". Washington Post.
  4. ^ Pierre Tristam. "Beirut's St. Georges Hotel, Still Trying to Slay Dragons". About.
  5. ^ "A Rumor of War - Philip Caputo". Philip Caputo. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  6. ^ "Some Rise by Sin - Philip Caputo". Philip Caputo. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  7. ^ "Selected Articles". Philip Caputo.
  8. ^ "All Books". Philip Caputo.

External linksEdit