HG Bissinger  

Honored and Distinguished Writer

H.G. "Buzz" Bissinger is among the nation's most honored and distinguished writers. A native of New York City, Buzz is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Livingston Award, the American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award and the National Headliners Award, among others. He also was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He is the author of three highly acclaimed nonfiction books: Friday Night Lights, A Prayer for the City and Three Nights in August.Buzz has been a reporter for some of the nation's most prestigious newspapers; a magazine writer with published work in Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine and Sports Illustrated; and a co-producer and writer for the ABC television drama NYPD Blue. Two of his works were made into the critically acclaimed films Friday Night Lights and Shattered Glass; three more are in active development. Friday Night Lights also serves as the inspiration for the television series of the same name, now in its second season on NBC. (Read Nancy Franklin's October 8 New Yorker review of the series here. )Buzz graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover in 1972 and the University of Pennsylvania in 1976. His journalism career began at the Ledger-Star in Norfolk, Va. He then moved to The St. Paul Pioneer Press and later The Philadelphia Inquirer. It was at the Inquirer in 1987 that he and two colleagues won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting a six-part investigative series on the Philadelphia Court System.In 1988, Buzz left the Inquirer and moved to Odessa, Texas to write Friday Night Lights, a book about the impact of high school football on small-town life. The New York Times number one bestseller, published in 1990, has sold roughly two million copies and is still in print.Buzz worked as an investigative journalist for The Chicago Tribune from 1990 to 1992. In 1992, he returned to Philadelphia to begin work on A Prayer for the City. Granted unprecedented access by then-Mayor Edward G. Rendell, Buzz's book, five-and-a-half years in the making, garnered critical acclaim nationwide and was hailed as a classic on politics and urban America.His most recent book, Three Nights in August, about major league baseball and the timeless beauty of the game through the eyes of its most innovative manager, St. Louis Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa, was published in April 2005 by Houghton-Mifflin. It spent four-and-a-half months on the New York Times Bestseller List and has been hailed as one of the finest books on baseball in the past decade. The paperback edition of the book was released in April of 2006. A film version of Three Nights in August is in development.Buzz's teleplay and screenwriting work includes collaborations with directors Alan Pakula, Peter Berg, Greg Hoblit, Todd Field and Tim Kring. Buzz also spent the 2000-2001 television season in Los Angeles as a co-producer and writer for the long-running television series NYPD Blue.Buzz has been a contributing editor at Vanity Fair magazine since 1996. His August 2007 Vanity Fair article "Gone Like the Wind," about the saga of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, was optioned by Universal Pictures for a film to be directed by Pete Berg, who also directed the film adaptation of Friday Night Lights.Buzz and his wife Lisa divide their time between homes in Philadelphia and the Pacific Northwest. Buzz is the father of twenty-something twins, Gerry and Zachary, 16-year-old Caleb, and a yellow Labrador Retriever, Maddy. He currently is working on a new book, among other projects, which will be published by Penguin Press next year.

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