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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.



    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

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    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

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