Sports journalist, author and Stanford lecturer Gary M. Pomerantz discusses new book about 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers

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Gary M. Pomerantz

Gary M. Pomerantz

From covering college basketball and the National Football League with The Washington Post to coaching youth teams for nearly two decades, Gary M. Pomerantz (@garympomerantz) has long sported an affinity for athletics.

Pomerantz graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in history before embarking on a 17-year journey as a daily journalist, first at The Washington Post and later at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The American Journalism Review has recognized Pomerantz “among a class of reporters who combine the tenacity of investigative reporting with the deft touch of feature writers.” He has amassed a number of accolades including the Ernie Pyle Award, the nation’s top honor for human interest writing.

Their Life’s Work, Pomerantz’ fifth and newest book, explores the Pittsburgh Steelers’ dynasty in the 1970s. He met the players of that formidable team while covering an assignment as a 20-year-old sportswriting intern. Over the past few years, Pomerantz conducted more than 200 interviews in an effort to examine the game’s lasting effects on those players’ lives across the decades.

“In the early Eighties I saw players who were physical marvels breaking down on the field with horrible injuries, and carted off,” Pomerantz said. “I wondered at the time, ‘What will life be like for these guys when they are sixty?’”

His other books cover a broad spectrum of topics from Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game to a multi-generational account of Atlanta and its racial conscience.


Pomerantz has appeared on many television and radio programs ranging from ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” to National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered” and “Talk of the Nation.”

He was named as a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan in 1987-1988 and later served as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism at Emory University in Atlanta from 1999-2001.

For the past seven years, Pomerantz has served as a Visiting Lecturer at Stanford. He teaches the Sports Journalism class.

When not covering or coaching sports, Pomerantz enjoys playing them. He spent seven years as an infielder on the Mooseheads, three-time Over-40 softball champions of Corte Madera, Calif.

Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn (1996)
Nine Minutes, Twenty Seconds (2001)
WILT, 1962 (2005)
The Devil’s Tickets (2009)
Their Life’s Work (2013)

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Randall Keith talks about the Mercury News’ web, mobile and social media initiatives

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rgk_mug_082011A Stanford grad, Randall Keith first broke into journalism as a photographer at the Daily. He then moved up to photo editor, and finally became one of the two news editors at the time. From there, Keith rapidly moved into the professional news world.

“I skipped graduation to start a job as the city hall reporter at the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire,” Keith said.

From there, his area of interest became more defined; he arrived at the Mercury in the late 90’s to become the telecom and e-commerce editor.

“I was fascinated with how technology was changing our lives. No better story and no better place to cover it than Silicon Valley.”

Keith is currently the Managing Editor for the Digital division of the Bay Area News Group sites, mobile apps and social media efforts. His tasks include overseeing the work of web producers and digital editors in multiple newsrooms, in addition to working with the Group’s breaking news teams and photo departments.

His first purely digital job involved overseeing news content on, but those responsibilities expanded over the years to include the rest of the Bay Area digital properties.

“We’re all trying to figure out how to keep strong journalism going on digital platforms that today don’t produce enough revenue to replace what’s disappearing on the print side,” Keith said. “My job gives me the opportunity to help guide our journalism and also take on that larger challenge facing news organizations.”

Links to a few of the Bay Area News Group’s publications.

The San Jose Mercury News

The Santa Cruz Sentinel

The Oakland Tribune

This week’s Twitter handles and hashtags.