Buzz Bissinger is best known for Friday Night Lights, the New York Times number one bestseller about the impact of high school football on small-town life. Published in 1990, the book has sold more than two million copies and is still in print. He is also the author of Three Nights in August, about major league baseball and the timeless beauty of the game through the eyes of legendary St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa; Shooting Stars, written with NBA basketball great LeBron James who tells the story of his high school career where he and his four best friends won a championship; and Father’s Day, a memoir that chronicles the lives of his twin sons.
A native of New York City, Bissinger is winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a Livingston Award, the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award for Media and the Arts, and a National Headliner Award, among others. He also was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.
He has been a reporter for some of the nation’s most prestigious newspapers; a magazine writer with published work in Vanity Fair, New York Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Sports Illustrated; and a co-producer and writer for the ABC television drama NYPD Blue. Friday Night Lights and his 1998 exposé Shattered Glass were both made into critically acclaimed films. Friday Night Lights also served as the inspiration for the television series of the same name.
Bissinger 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, Virginia. 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. He worked as an investigative journalist for the Chicago Tribune from 1990 to 1992 and is a sports columnist for the Daily Beast.
Buzz and his wife, Lisa, divide their time between homes in Philadelphia and the Pacific Northwest. Buzz is the father of three sons, Caleb and twins Gerry and Zachary, and is owned by a yellow Lab, Maddy.
Friday Night Lights, 25th Anniversary Edition: A Town, a Team, and a Dream (2015)
Father’s Day: A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son (2012)
Three Nights in August: Strategy, Heartbreak, and Joy Inside the Mind of a Manager (2005)
A Prayer for the City (1997)
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Buzz Bissinger’s website
“25 years after Friday Night Lights,” Houston Chronicle, September 16, 2015
“Reflecting on Football and Addiction as Friday Night Lights Turns 25,” NPR, August 3, 2015
Review of Father’s Day in the New York Times, May 14, 2012
Video: Bissinger in conversation with editor Jane Isay on the the 25th anniversary of Friday Night Lights.