Roger Kahn (born October 31, 1927) is an American author, best known for his 1972 baseball book The Boys of Summer.
October 31, 1927
Brooklyn, New York, United States
|Notable works||The Boys of Summer|
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 describes[where?] his background as a mix of Alsatian Catholic Jewish and Russian Jewish Marxist, and himself as a 100% American agnostic[not in citation given]. He lives in the Hudson Valley community of Stone Ridge, New York with his second wife, Katharine Colt Johnson, a psychotherapist. He has two adult children, Alissa and Gordon. He was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame on April 30, 2006.
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, The Boys of Summer, was published in 1972. The book 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[where?] 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)
- "The Rumble: An Off-The-Ball Look at Your Favorite Sports Celebrities", New York Post, December 31, 2006. Accessed December 13, 2007. "The five Erasmus Hall of Fame legends include Raiders owner Al Davis, Bears quarterback Sid Luckman, Yankee pitching great Waite Hoyt, Billy Cunningham and Knicks founder Ned Irish. Other sports notables include Bulls/White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, chess champion Bobby Fischer, ex-Browns head coach Sam Rutigliano, legendary NBA referee Norm Drucker and "The Boys of Summer" author Roger Kahn." Archived January 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- "State University of New York at New Paltz: James H. Ottaway Sr. Endowed Professorship – Past Professors – 2004 – Roger Kahn", State University of New York at New Paltz official website. Accessed February 5, 2012
- "Roger Kahn biography", Roger Kahn official website. Accessed 5 February, 2012.[Dead link]
- "Roger Kahn", National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, April 30, 2006.
- "The Top 100 Sports Books of All Time", Sports Illustrated, December 16, 2002.
- Warren Goldstein, "The Manassa Mauler", The New York Times, October 31, 1999.
- Daytona Beach Morning Journal – Aug 9, 1980
- "Kahn writes with joy and wrath", The Washington Times, December 3, 2006.
- Andrew Ervin, "Memoirs: The Old Man of Summer", The Washington Post August 13, 2006.
- "NYTimes". NYTimes. 1997-04-06. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
Ruttman, Larry (2013). "Roger Kahn: Author of the Classic Baseball Book The Boys of Summer". American Jews and America's Game: Voices of a Growing Legacy in Baseball. Lincoln, Nebraska and London, England: University of Nebraska Press. pp. 113–123. ISBN 978-0-8032-6475-5. This chapter in Ruttman's history, based on September 30, 2007 and January 31, 2008 interviews with Kahn conducted for the book, discusses Kahn's American, Jewish, baseball, and life experiences from youth to the present.