Robert Lipsyte is a legendary sports reporter, award-winning young adult novelist and an outspoken critic of the sports world. Lipsyte has often expressed his controversial opinion that the nation's fixation on competitive athletics is detrimental. He feels that sports should be recreational, not an industry that offers the often false hope of stardom.
As a young reporter, Lipsyte covered boxing for The New York Times. He drew on this background for his first book, "The Contender" (1967), a highly acclaimed coming-of-age story in which an orphaned teenager matures through the training discipline of boxing. In 1971, Lipsyte left the Times to concentrate on writing books. His other sports books for young people include "Free To Be Muhammad Ali" (1978) and the "Superstar Lineup" series documenting the lives of famous sports heroes.
The author's other novels for adolescents include the semi-autobiographical "Fifties Trilogy: One Fat Summer" (1977), "Summer Rules" (1981) and "Summerboy" (1982). Lipsyte has also written for adults in such books as "SportsWorld: An American Dreamland" (1975) and for television, notably "Saturday Night With Howard Cosell". He received an Emmy Award for hosting the PBS show "The Eleventh Hour"" (1990).
Robert Michael Lipsyte was born January 16, 1938 in New York City and earned an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia in 1959. He has been a radio commentator, a television news correspondent, and a journalism teacher. He successfully fought cancer in the late 1970's.
Lipsyte's career has come full circle; he once again is writing a sports column for The New York Times and books for young adults. "The Chief" (1993) is the long-awaited sequel to "The Contender".