GARY M. POMERANTZ is a New York Times best-selling author and journalist and has served the past sixteen years as a lecturer in the Graduate Program in Journalism at Stanford University.
Throughout his forty-year career, Gary has devoted his writing and teaching to American history, race relations, the media, and sports. Some of his former students work in the media today at The New York Times, The Washington Post, ProPublica, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, The San Francisco Chronicle, MLB.com, and ESPN, among other news outlets.
Gary’s six nonfiction books cover an array of topics. His first book, Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn, a multi-generational saga of Atlanta from the Civil War through civil rights, is under option for adaptation to a television series. Their Life’s Work, Gary’s book about the enduring brotherhood of the champion Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s, recently was optioned for development into a multi-part documentary.
Gary spent 18 years as a daily journalist, first as a sportswriter for The Washington Post where he covered Georgetown University basketball, the National Football League, and later at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution where he wrote about race, sports, culture, and politics, and served for a time on the newspaper’s editorial board. His work has also appeared in Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and other publications.
A 1982 graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor’s degree in history, Gary served as sports editor of The Daily Californian in 1980 and covered the Golden Bears’ football and basketball teams. In 1987-88, he was named a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan where he studied theater and the Bible. Later he served from 1999-2001 as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism at Emory University in Atlanta, teaching courses on news reporting, and the history of the American press. Since 2007 at Stanford University, he has taught seminars on specialized reporting and writing.
The American Journalism Review has placed Gary among a select group of journalists “whose techniques produce imaginative, technically accurate, and thoroughly documented stories that fall into the broad category of literary journalism.” He has captured numerous journalism honors, including the Ernie Pyle Award, the nation’s top honor for human interest writing awarded by the Scripps Howard Foundation, and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi national award for feature writing. Gary also has been acknowledged by The American Editor magazine and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism for his distinguished writing about race relations.
A frequent public speaker, Gary has appeared at The Commonwealth Club of California, the Ford Hall Forum in Boston, the Metropolitan Club in New York City, and the Pebble Beach Authors & Ideas Festival in Pebble Beach, Calif.
He has also appeared on numerous local and national television and radio programs, including the CBS Early Show, CNN Sunday Morning, ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” “NFL Live” and “Outside the Lines,” the BBC World Service’s “Outlook” and National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered” and “Weekend Edition.”
Gary lives in San Francisco with his wife, Carrie Schwab Pomerantz. They have three grown children. Gary served for several years on the Council of the Friends of The Bancroft Library at University of California, Berkeley. He coached 27 seasons in youth sports (baseball, basketball, softball), and spent seven years as an oft-injured infielder on the Mooseheads, six-time Over-40 softball champions of Corte Madera, Calif. Each spring he joins his older brothers, Greg and Glenn, on a tour of baseball spring training camps. He is a volunteer Big Brother for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Bay Area, and serves on The Daily Californian Education Foundation board, the advisory committee for his college newspaper.
Fun Fact: Growing up primarily in the Los Angeles area, Gary can rightfully make the claim that he attended elementary school with Danny Partridge (Danny Bonaduce), high school with Cindy Brady (Susan Olsen), and the same college as Beaver Cleaver (Jerry Mathers).
Gary wears a family ring of great sentimental value. It once belonged to his grandfather, Philip Pomerantz, and carries his initials (“P.P.”). After Philip’s death in 1968, Gary’s father, Ed, wore the ring for nearly thirty years. Then he gave it to Gary on their 1997 trip to Kremenchuk, Ukraine, where Philip had been born a century before. After having worn the ring for 19 years, Gary lost it in the McCall River in Belize in Central America in December 2017 when his canoe capsized in a surging rapid, and the ring slid from his finger. In a small miracle, the ring was later found, and returned to Gary, who immediately announced his retirement from canoeing.