Born in Columbus, Ohio, Bob Greene received a B.J. (Bachelor of Journalism) from Northwestern University in 1969. From 1969 to 1978, he was a columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times, moving in 1978 to the rival Chicago Tribune, where he continues to be an award-winning columnist. He has also been a contributing columnist to Life and Esquire magazines and a contributing correspondent for ABC News Nightline. A prolific writer, Greene has published numerous collections of his columns as well as other works. Greene's most recent books are Duty: A Father, His Son, and the Man Who Won the War (2000) and Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen (2002).
Greene is, in many ways, a reporter of everyday events. He rarely tries to be profound but concentrates instead on "human interest" stories, the experiences that we all share. "Beyond entertaining or informing [my readers]," he has said, "the only responsibility I feel is . . . to make sure that they get to the last period of the last sentence of the last paragraph of the story. . . . I feel I have a responsibility to make the story interesting enough for them to read all the way through."
Related Readings and Other Background Information
You can probably findin the bound periodical section of your library, in microform, or in a full-text databasethe following related articles:
Bowden, Mark. "The Unkindest Cut." Sports Illustrated, 17 February 1997:58ff. The narrative follows the basketball tryouts at Coatesville (Pennsylvania) Area Senior High from pre-season workouts through the coach's final cuts to the varsity squad.
A biography of Greene with additional bibliographical references can be found in the Current Biography Yearbook, 1995: 228-231, a standard reference source that can be found in the reference section of most libraries. One of Greene's most recent books is The Fifty-Year Dash (1997), in which he questions, "What does it feel like to be 50?" The book is also available on cassettes, with the reading done by Greene himself.
Print sources for additional information about Greene and his writing include networked databases (for example, Expanded Academic and the National Newspaper Index). Check with your school library to see what databases are available, both in print and electronic form.
Additional information about the impact of rejection (or being cut) can be found in a wide variety of databases, including those devoted to psychology and education. Key words in such searches include "achievement motivation" and "rejection." Greene's essay was reprinted, for example, in a special issue of The Elementary School Journal [91.5 (May 1991): 49ff.] devoted to sports in elementary schools.
In this essay from Esquire, a magazine aimed at a male audience, Greene relates the stories of five successful men who shared the experience of being "cut from the team." Does being cut, Greene wonders, make you a superachiever later in life?