Acclaimed writer Ira Berkow speaks at Pulitzer Event

March 28, 2014

On March 27, National Louis welcomed Pulitzer Prize winner Ira Berkow for the annual Pulitzer Prize Series sponsored by the M.S. in Written Communication program.  Named the "Best Sportswriter in New York," Berkow spoke about sportswriting, his latest book, "WRIGLEY FIELD: An Oral and Narrative History of the Home of the Chicago Cubs," (with Josh Noel) a complete chronicle of Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs and other wonderful events that have occurred during the last century. 

The author of 21 books, Berkow shared a Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for National Reporting for his article "The Minority Quarterback."  Born in Chicago, he became a sports columnist and feature writer for The New York Times for 26 years. Among his many books are best-sellers Red: a Biography of Red Smith and Maxwell Street: Survival in a Bazaar.” 

Berkow addressed a packed house at NLU’s Chicago campus, which included fellow journalists and former athletes from Northwestern University among the audience. The author commented largely about his recent book, “Wrigley Field: an Oral and Narrative History of the Home of the Chicago Cubs,” and spoke at length about his background growing up in Chicago on Maxwell Street.

He admitted to the crowd that he wasn’t the most motivated student, but he was gifted with writing ability and moxie. Berkow told stories of how he was mentored by other writers and of his brushes with President Obama, a White Sox fan. He also commented on developments in sports today, such as the issue of whether student athletes are employees of the university they represent, which is playing at out Northwestern.

The high point of the evening was the inspiration he offered to students in the audience, working adults seeking a degree to change the path of their career or restart after “life happened.” Berkow told of his own story of perseverance and strength, coming from a background lacking privilege, then later when he faced criticism of his work. Berkow fielded questions from the audience, and lingered afterward, greeting people, taking pictures and signing autographs.

NLU’s Master's in Written Communication Program offers students with an undergraduate degree in any field a unique variety of courses and personal attention from experienced instructors who are published writers and produced playwrights and screenwriters. This Master's program includes courses and internships in becoming a college teacher of writing, courses in nonfiction and fiction, public relations, screenwriting, online publishing, writing children's books, editing and more.

 

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