Jane Leavy

BestSelling Author & JOURNALIST

Jane Leavy is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Last Boy,  Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy and the comic novel Squeeze Play, which Entertainment Weekly called “the best novel ever written about baseball.” She was a staff writer at The Washington Post from 1979 to1988, first in the sports section, then writing for the style section. She covered baseball, tennis, and the Olympics for the paper. She wrote features for the style section about sports, politics, and pop culture, including, most memorably, a profile of Mugsy Bogues, the 5’3″ guard for the Washington Wizards, which was longer than he is tall.
Photo credit: Richard Mallory Allnutt
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Before joining the The Washington Post, she was a staff writer at womenSports and Self magazines. She has written for many publications, including The New York Times, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, The Village Voice, and The New YorkDaily News. Leavy’s work has been anthologized in many collections, including Best Sportswriting, Coach: 25 Writers Reflect on People Who Made a Difference, Child of Mine: Essays on Becoming a Mother, Nike Is a Goddess: The History of Women in Sports, Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend: Women Writers on Baseball, A Kind of Grace: A Treasury of Sportswriting by Women, and Making Words Dance: Reflections on Red Smith, Journalism and Writing. She grew up on Long Island where she pitched briefly and poorly for the Blue Jays of the Roslyn Long Island Little League. On her parents’ first date, her father, a water boy for the 1927 New York football Giants, took her mother to a Brooklyn College football game. She retaliated by taking him to Loehmann’s after the final whistle. It was a template for their 63-year union. As a child, Jane Leavy worshipped Mickey Mantle from the second-floor ballroom in the Concourse Plaza Hotel where her grandmother’s synagogue held services on the High Holidays. Jane Leavy attended Barnard College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she wrote her master’s essay (later published in The Village Voice) on Red Smith, the late sports columnist for The New York Times, who was her other childhood hero. She has two adult children, Nick and Emma Isakoff, and she lives in Washington, DC, and Truro, Massachusetts.
Contact Jane

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Agent: David Black, David Black Literary Agency, 718-852-5500
Speaking Opportunities: HarperCollins Speakers Bureau
Author in need of sleep and a haircut finally gets book pages, taking a swing with Babe’s bat, and what 8 years of writing and research does to your desk!

News & Events

Why on Earth Did Boston Sell Babe Ruth to the Yankees?

Read Jane's op-ed in the New York Times on the sale, at the end of 1919, that changed baseball — and New York City — forever: One hundred years ago on Christmas Day, typically the slowest news day of the year, George Herman Ruth Jr. knew there would be a news hole...

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The Big Fella Now in Paperback!

And will be featured in the October 6, 2019 paperback row highlights from The New York Times: This detail-packed biography of the baseball legend recounts his eventful life and tracks the machinations behind his rise to an unprecedented kind of celebrity in the...

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