BERKOW, IRA (1940– ), U.S. sportswriter. Born and raised in Chicago, Berkow attended Sullivan High School (1957), Miami University (Oxford, Ohio, B.A., 1963), and Northwestern University (M.S.J., 1965). He worked as a sportswriter and book reviewer for the Minneapolis Tribune (1965–67), and a sportswriter, sports columnist, general columnist, and senior writer for the Newspaper Enterprise Association (1967–76) before joining The New York Times as a sports feature writer, sports columnist, and senior writer in 1981. Berkow won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2001 as part of a Times team for the series "How Race is Lived in America," contributing an 8,300-world essay on "The Minority Quarterback," and was a finalist for the Pulitzer for distinguished commentary in 1988. Berkow is the only sportswriter to have been represented for five decades in the respected annual anthology Best Sports Stories, and its successor, Best American Sportswriting. He was also reprinted in the Best American Sports Writing of the Century anthology. Berkow is the author of Oscar Robertson: The Golden Year 1964 (1971); Rockin' Steady: A Guide to Basketball and Cool (with Walt Frazier, 1974); Beyond the Dream: Occasional Heroes of Sports (1975); Maxwell Street: Survival in a Bazaar (1977); The Du Sable Panthers: The Greatest, Blackest, Saddest Team from the Meanest Street in Chicago (1978); Carew (with Rod Carew, 1979); Red: A Biography of Red Smith (1986); The Man Who Robbed the Pierre: The Story of Bobby Comfort (1987); Pitchers Do Get Lonely, and Other Sports Stories (1988); Hank Greenberg: The Story of My Life (with Hank Greenberg,   1989); How to Talk Jewish (with Jackie Mason, 1990); The Gospel According to Casey: Casey Stengel's Inimitable, Instructional, Historical Baseball Book (with Jim Kaplan, 1992); To the Hoop: The Seasons of a Basketball Life (1997); Court Vision: Unexpected Views on the Lure of Basketball (2000); and The Minority Quarterback, and Other Lives in Sports (2002). (Elli Wohlgelernter (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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