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Buzz Bissinger

February 17 - February 18

Bio

Buzz Bissinger was born in New York City in 1954. Bissinger is a non-fiction writer, celebrated for his career in investigative journalism and sports writing. As a Penn alumnus and a staff writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Bissinger has deep roots to this city, which he examines through the lens of Ed Rendell's mayoral term in his (1998) and where he now lives with his family, splitting their time between Philadelphia and the Pacific Northwest. Though perhaps best known for his first book, Friday Night Lights (1990), Bissinger first met critical acclaim in 1987 when his investigative report on the Philadelphia court system for the Inquirer won him a Pulitzer Prize, shared with two colleagues.

Bissinger has a unique talent among "sports writers" to open the scope of the project to include, beyond the scoreboards and offsides, everything it is to be human: failure, violence, loyalty, hatred, hope, love and so much more. And yet Bissinger's readers see him at his most (brutally) human in his memoir Father's Day (2012), about his relationship with his developmentally disabled son, Zach.

Bissinger is also a contributing editor at Vanity Fair where his 1998 piece "Shattered Glass," an expose on New Republic journalist Steven Glass, revealed that more than half of the pieces he wrote for that magazine had been entirely fabricated. His journalistic work has also been published in Sports Illustrated, Wall Street Journal, New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere.

Here is an audio recording of Bissinger's discussion of A Prayer for the City at the Writers House back in 1998.