Synopses & Reviews
By America’s premier sportswriter, written with full cooperation of Joe Paterno and his family, Paterno is the definitive account of the epic life of America’s winningest college football coach. Published to coincide with Penn State football’s first season without their legendary leader.
Born in Brooklyn in 1926, Joe Paterno was a first generation college student who became a star quarterback while attending Brown University. After graduation in 1950, at age twenty-three, he was hired by his former coach as assistant coach at Penn State. Over the course of sixty-two football seasons, Joe Paterno’s influence was felt as the Nittany Lions won 409 games, a Division I record for a coach. He was honored with every distinction the sports industry has to offer, from being the coach to receive Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year Award, to the Associated Press College Football Coach Award, to the NCAA’s Gerald R. Ford Award.
Joe Posnanski spent the last two years of Paterno’s life with him, getting to know the man and his family, and was there as the scandal broke that eventually consumed him. Written with unprecedented access, Paterno gets inside the mind of one of America’s most brilliant and charismatic coaches.
Joe Posnanski’s biography of the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno follows in the tradition of works by Richard Ben Cramer on Joe DiMaggio and David Maraniss on Vince Lombardi. Having gained unprecedented access to Paterno, as well as the coach’s personal notes and files, Posnanski spent the last two years of Paterno’s life covering the coach, on (and off) the field and through the scandal that ended Paterno’s legendary career.
Joe Posnanski, who in 2012 was named the Best Sportswriter in America by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame, was with Paterno and his family as a horrific national scandal unfolded and Paterno was fired. Within three months, Paterno died of lung cancer, a tragic end to a life that was epic, influential, and operatic.
Paterno is the fullest description we will ever have of the man’s character and career. In this honest and surprising portrait, Joe Posnanski brings new insight and understanding to one of the most controversial figures in America.
About the Author
Joe Posnanski is a Senior Writer at the new venture Sports On Earth. Before that, he was Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated
, and in 2011 was named National Sportswriter of the year by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame.
He wrote about sports for the Kansas City Star for sixteen years and was twice named the best sports columnist in America by the Associated Press Sports Editors.
He is the author of four books, including The Soul of Baseball, the 2007 winner of the Casey Award as America's best baseball book. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his family.