Pete Hamill
American journalist
Pete Hamill
Pete Hamill is an American journalist, novelist, essayist, editor and educator. Widely traveled and having written on a broad range of topics, he is perhaps best known for his career as a New York City journalist, as "the author of columns that sought to capture the particular flavors of New York City's politics and sports and the particular pathos of its crime. " Hamill was a columnist and editor for the New York Post and The New York Daily News.
Pete Hamill's personal information overview.
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After 30 Years, Pete Hamill Returns to Brooklyn
NYTimes - 5 months
Mr. Hamill’s journey as a writer is leading him from Manhattan back to the borough where he learned his craft.
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NYTimes article
From cock-a-leekie to kinkajou
Huffington Post - 9 months
A haircut from a head hunter? Meyer Berger expresses New York City as well as any journalist I've read on the topic. And there are a lot of distinguished ones, from Walt Whitman to Jimmy Breslin, Pete Hamill and Tom Wolfe. What I like best about Berger -- bylined Meyer, called Mike -- is his combination of high- and low-brow, society's upper edge and the people who stoked their furnaces. Berger presents spry and poetic characters and undomesticated scenes from the microcosm of mid-1950s Manhattan in "New York: A Great Reporter's Love Affair with a City," from Fordham University Press. Berger, a grammar-school dropout who wrote the "About New York" column for The New York Times, bridged that gap. "Berger brought to spotlight many of those New Yorkers who usually exist on the journalistic margins," Hamill writes in the introduction. "They have neither fame nor notoriety. They never hit game-winning home runs and do not murder their spouses. ... And they know things. Often, the ...
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Huffington Post article
Glenn Greenwald Among Four To Win Polk Award For Snowden Stories
Huffington Post - about 3 years
NEW YORK (AP) — Four journalists who reported on the extent of the National Security Agency's secret surveillance based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden are among the winners of the 65th annual George Polk Awards in Journalism. Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras of The Guardian and Barton Gellman of The Washington Post will receive the award for national security reporting for stories based on secret documents leaked by Snowden, a former intelligence analyst. The awards were announced Sunday by Long Island University. Journalists who wrote about massive traffic jams caused by bridge lane closures in New Jersey, a catastrophic garment factory collapse in Bangladesh and the struggles of a homeless family in Brooklyn also will be among those honored. The Polk Awards were created in 1949 in honor of CBS reporter George W. Polk, who was killed while covering the Greek civil war. This year's awards will be given out April 11. Kimberly Dozier of The Associated Press ...
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Huffington Post article
'Vietnam: The Real War' - Iconic Images Published In New Book By Associated Press (GRAPHIC PICTURES)
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Associated Press (AP) have published a new book called Vietnam: The Real War, containing over 300 powerful images to mark the 50th anniversary of the conflict. Published today, the book contains images of candid moments from the war chosen from over 200,000 AP photos, from front-line combat to Buddhist Monks committing self-immolation in protest. The images changed public perception of the war. Photos, rather than video footage, were key in conveying to audiences around the world the brutality of the war in Vietnam. Video cameras were being used by journalists in Vietnam but lacked the impact of the small 35-millimetre camera, the tool of choice for photojournalists. Women and children crouch in a muddy canal as they take cover from intense Viet Cong fire, January 1, 1966. Paratroopers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade (background) escorted the civilians through a series of firefights during the U.S. assault on a Viet Cong stronghold at Bao Trai, about twenty miles west of Saigon. ...
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Huffington Post article
Dave Astor: The Art of Putting Artists in Literature
Huffington Post - over 3 years
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how worthy are thousands of words about literary characters who draw pictures? Yes, some fiction includes protagonists who are painters, cartoonists or other kinds of artists. It's a tricky proposition for authors, because the works artist characters create can only be described, not seen (unless the book is illustrated, or a graphic novel). But there are advantages to having artists in literary roles. Those characters are of course creative, and they can also be quirky, bohemian, groundbreaking, pretentious, frustrated, low on money, etc. -- traits and situations that all have strong dramatic potential. The idea for this post occurred to me while I recently read Don DeLillo's Underworld, an ambitious novel (about the second half of the 20th century) whose large cast of characters includes artist Klara Sax. Parenthood and other things make it hard for Klara to reach her full artistic potential until she becomes famous in her 70s ...
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Huffington Post article
Dave Astor: Orphans in Literature
Huffington Post - over 3 years
When recently rereading Uncle Tom's Cabin, it struck me that this heartbreaking novel about slavery was also about something slavery caused: the orphaning of children. Whether their parents were yanked away at auction or killed, many kids in the brutal antebellum South lost their moms and dads. A major orphan character in Harriet Beecher Stowe's powerful page-turner is Topsy, who was turned into a psychological mess by cruel owners until the love of the child Eva and, eventually, the love of parent figure Ophelia help transform her. Ophelia was partly based on Stowe herself, who died almost exactly 117 years ago on July 1, 1896. After reading Uncle Tom's Cabin -- whose brave, devout title character doesn't deserve the slur later associated with his name -- I thought about other orphans in literature, and why those characters can make novels so compelling. Their difficult starts in life draw our sympathy, and when they overcome obstacles via their own efforts and/or help ...
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Huffington Post article
Rex Reed: 'You Don't Hardly Get Them Kind No More'
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
There are several obvious reasons to applaud the arrival of Lucky Guy, the splendidly thoughtful and robustly entertaining new play about the life and career of fearless Pulitzer Prize winning New York newspaper columnist and general all-around tough guy Mike McAlary, which just bounded into the Broadhurst in time to jazz up an otherwise anemic Broadway season. First, it's Nora Ephron's final play in an illustrious career that was unfairly cut short when she died of cancer on June 26, 2012 at the still-young age of 71. Second, it marks the triumphant theatre debut of Oscar-winner Tom Hanks, already one of the greatest movie stars on the planet, now proving his acting chops are just as impressive in person. Third, it's a play that grabs you by the throat, makes you laugh and cry, holds you transfixed for two hours, paralyzes you with excitement from start to finish, and leaves you cheering. I can think of no stronger motivation for getting off your duff and into the traffic to ...
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Huffington Post article
Regina Weinreich: Tom Hanks' Mustache in Lucky Guy
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
Tom Hanks sporting '80s-ish facial hair was explaining the difference between his naturally grown mustache and that of the character he portrays in his Broadway debut Lucky Guy, the play by the late Nora Ephron based on the life of Mike McAlary. His went out in tough bristles, Hanks gesticulated madly bringing his hands under his nose where a tight, well clipped fringe sat by contrast. A gaggle of interviewers laughed. The mood at the Broadhurst Theater and at Gotham Hall for Lucky Guy's opening night on Monday was bittersweet exuberance: with the tearful final moment of the play, when Hanks, as McAlary after a near-death accident and sick with the cancer that killed him, delivers a weighty speech and a portrait of Nora Ephron hangs over the stage. Hanks was not the only one crying. Lucky Guy is not just the story of Mike McAlary. Rather, evoking the boisterous bars and back-biting newsrooms habituated by the tabloid press of the time, including foul mouths, smoking, and ...
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Huffington Post article
Ed Koch On Gay Rumors: F*** Them
Huffington Post - about 4 years
New York City's ever-colorful, and ever-single former mayor died Friday at the age of 88. Ed Koch will be remembered for many things -- namely his financial savvy during the fiscally disastrous 1970s -- but among LGBT advocates, he remains a polarizing figure. Throughout most of his life, Koch was dogged by seemingly endless gay rumors. With consistent gruffness, Koch dismissed questions about his sexuality as being a private matter. In his 1992 autobiography “Citizen Koch,” for example, the mayor wrote: "Whether I am straight or gay or bisexual is nobody’s business but mine." Similarly, in 2009, Koch told The New York Times' Sam Roberts, "I do not want to add to the acceptability of asking every candidate, ‘Are you straight or gay or lesbian?’ and make it a legitimate question, so I don’t submit to that question. I don’t care if people think I’m gay because I don’t answer it. I’m flattered that at 84 people are interested in my sex life — and, it’s quite limited.” ...
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Huffington Post article
Rick Ayers: "Maybe the Press Failed Then": An Interview With Ken Burns and Raymond Santana
Huffington Post - about 4 years
Directed by classic American filmmaker Ken Burns as well as his daughter Sarah Burns and David McMahon, the documentary The Central Park Five is an incredible document -- exposé, really -- of justice denied. Most Americans are familiar, because it is burned into our collective memory, the case of the "Central Park jogger" who was beaten and raped in 1989. It was the occasion for calls throughout the country for crackdowns on black and brown youth, for stiffening of prison penalties, and for the extension of a narrative about urban young people as super-predators. The problem was that the five teenagers picked up and convicted -- and they have names: Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Yusef Salaam, and Kharey Wise -- were innocent. Their forced confessions, obtained from scared teens, are sickeningly shown in the documentary. The actual assailant, who confessed years later and whose DNA confirmed his story, was never in the sights of the police and prosec ...
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Huffington Post article
Charlie Carillo: Unit Three, We Hardly Knew Ye
Huffington Post - about 4 years
I was a reporter on tryout at the New York Post, greener than grass, being sent out on a breaking news story -- a shooting? A subway fire? Hard to remember exactly what it was, but the photographer they sent me with was unforgettable. A heavyset guy with hangdog cheeks and a small moustache, his hair thin on top and swept back on the sides. We had an address, a deadline and a threat from the bosses to get back with the goods in time for the afternoon edition. I got into the passenger side of his car and we were off, roaring uptown. I introduced myself to him in typical New York Post fashion -- a handshake without eye contact, as he was busy watching the road to avoid killing pushcart peddlers on the streets of Chinatown. "You're the new guy," he growled. "Uh-huh." I was nervous, and he knew it. "I've been with the Post over 30 years," he offered. "Wow." "Yeah." He gave me a sly look. "They tell me I have a bright future," he deadpanned. He smil ...
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Huffington Post article
Jonathan Franzen Commits Act Of Thanksgiving At Hurricane Relief Event
Huffington Post - about 4 years
NEW YORK -- Jonathan Franzen gave a reading. With an ordinary author, that would be pretty unremarkable. With the notoriously prickly, Twitter-hating author of the novel Freedom, it was cause for hyperbole. "He doesn't do these things. He doesn't do readings. Oh my god, this is crazy," exclaimed Daniel Power, the owner of Brooklyn's powerHouse ARENA bookstore, just minutes after Franzen made a rare public appearance there on Saturday. Power was exaggerating a bit, but he could be forgiven for doing so. Just two weeks before, his bookshop was flooded by Hurricane Sandy, swamping $30,000 worth of merchandise and potentially putting him out of commission just before the holiday busy season. So he put out a call to authors, publicists, publishers and the public for help and created Sandy Hates Books, a hurricane relief fundraiser event at powerHouse. powerHouse Arena books, just after Sandy. The list of those who joined in will be recognizable to anyone who follows con ...
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Huffington Post article
Joan Walsh: What We Can't Afford to Do Again
The Huffington Post - over 4 years
Excerpted with permission from the publisher, Wiley, from What's The Matter with White People by Joan Walsh. Copyright © 2012 A few days after the Occupy Wall Street movement began to stir in September 2011, I walked the narrow streets of the world's financial hub in a light rain, looking for a protest still too small to find. During the next few weeks, OWS would change the national conversation. The slogan "We are the 99 percent" did what years of complaint by economists and liberals could not: it focused attention on staggering income inequality and "the top 1 percent" who'd enriched themselves phenomenally during the past thirty years. "I am so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I'm frightened to death," Frank Luntz, the GOP's master of spin, told a private meeting of Republican governors at the end of 2011. "They're having an impact on the way Americans think about capitalism." Suddenly, cable news shows that had been obsessing over the deficit "crisis" and Pre ...
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The Huffington Post article
BOOKS: It’s Hamill time! Newsman and novelist Pete Hamill wins big Brooklyn award
The Brooklyn Paper - over 4 years
For Pete’s sake! Read more.
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The Brooklyn Paper article
New In Paperback May 21-27
NPR - over 4 years
This week, there's fresh fiction from Pulitzer finalist Denis Johnson, novelist Tom Perrotta and newspaperman Pete Hamill; plus, travel editor Mark Adams explores Machu Picchu; Melissa Coleman reminisces about growing up off the grid; and Howard Means looks at the life of Johnny Appleseed. » E-Mail This     » Add to
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NPR article
Lotsa Irish at Tribeca
The Irish Echo Online - almost 5 years
YaYa DaCosta and Brendan Fraser star in Terry George's "Whole Lotta Sole." More than a decade ago, after the World Trade Center attacks, Robert De Niro and some colleagues decided to set up the Tribeca Film Festival hoping to help revitalize lower Manhattan. They had their wish. The festival has become known as a venue for high caliber challenging movies from across the world. And this year Irish talent is exceptionally well-represented at the two week film feast. Youth culture, the Internet and the adolescent imagination are central themes in a rich offering of features and short films from Ireland. The range is expansive and diverse and so are the settings, which vary from ghost estates in the Irish midlands, to Belfast and the Bronx. “Babygirl,” directed by Macdara Vallely, is a coming of age story about the relationship between a teenage girl and her single mother. It portrays the experience of a Puerto Rican teenager in the Bronx, who watches as her man-crazed mother i ...
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The Irish Echo Online article
Hamill Honored At Green-Wood Cemetery Benefit - Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Google News - over 5 years
by contributor (, published online 09-16-2011 By Zach Campbell The Green-Wood Cemetery Historic Fund honored journalist and author Pete Hamill last Thursday at their annual benefit. The well-known journalist and author
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Google News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Pete Hamill
  • 2010
    Age 74
    In 2010 he was presented the Louis Auchincloss Prize from the Museum of the City of New York.
    More Details Hide Details In 2014 Hamill received the George Polk Career Award. Hamill is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University.
  • 2005
    Age 69
    Hamill received the Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists in 2005.
    More Details Hide Details In 2010 Hamill received an Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree from St. John's University.
  • 2001
    Age 65
    Hamill's memoir Downtown: My Manhattan includes his reporting for the New York Daily News on the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, at which he was present.
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  • 1994
    Age 58
    Hamill's 1994 memoir, A Drinking Life, chronicled his journey from childhood into his thirties, his embrace of drinking and the decision to abandon it.
    More Details Hide Details According to Hamill, Frank McCourt was inspired by the book to complete his own memoir, Angela's Ashes.
  • 1975
    Age 39
    Hamill won a Grammy Award for "Best Liner Notes" for his essay on the back of Bob Dylan's album Blood on the Tracks in 1975.
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    He also wrote about boxing, baseball, art, and contemporary music, winning a Grammy Award in 1975 for the liner notes to Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.
    More Details Hide Details Two collections of his selected journalism have been published: Irrational Ravings and Piecework (1996). For the Library of America he edited two volumes of the journalism of A.J. Liebling. In 1998, he published an extended essay on contemporary journalism titled News is a Verb: Journalism at the End of the Twentieth Century.
  • 1968
    Age 32
    Hamill has also written fiction, producing ten novels and two collections of short stories. His first novel, a thriller called A Killing for Christ, about a plot to assassinate the Pope on Easter Sunday in Rome, was published in 1968.
    More Details Hide Details Drawing on his youth in Brooklyn he next wrote a semi-autobiographical novel called The Gift. Most of his fiction is set in New York City, including Snow in August (1997), Forever (2003), North River (2007), and Tabloid City (2011). Hamill has published more than 100 short stories in newspapers, including those that were part of a series called The Eight Million in the New York Post; in the Daily News, his stories ran under the title Tales of New York. He has published two volumes of short stories: The Invisible City: A New York Sketchbook (1980) and Tokyo Sketches (1992).
  • 1965
    Age 29
    He began writing a column for the New York Post in late 1965, and by the end of that year was reporting from Vietnam.
    More Details Hide Details Over the course of nearly forty years Hamill worked at the Post, the New York Daily News, the Village Voice, and New York Newsday. He served briefly as editor of the Post, and later as editor-in-chief-of the Daily News. His resignation from the latter position after eight months prompted a letter of protest signed by more than a hundred of the paper's writers. Hamill's more extensive journalistic pieces have been published in New York, The New Yorker, Esquire, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and other periodicals. He has written about wars in Vietnam, Nicaragua, Lebanon and Northern Ireland, and reported on America's urban riots of the 1960s. Hamill wrote about the New York underclass and racial division, most notably in an essay for Esquire magazine entitled Breaking the Silence.
  • 1964
    Age 28
    In August 1964 he returned to New York, reported on the Democratic Convention in Atlantic City, and was briefly employed as a feature writer at the New York Herald Tribune.
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  • 1963
    Age 27
    By the fall of 1963 he was a correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post, stationed in Europe.
    More Details Hide Details Hamill spent six months in Barcelona and five months in Dublin, and traveled Europe interviewing actors, movie directors, and authors, as well as ordinary citizens.
  • 1962
    Age 26
    The 1962–63 New York City newspaper strike led Hamill to start writing magazine articles.
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  • 1960
    Age 24
    Hamill eventually attracted enough attention and was hired as a reporter for the New York Post in 1960.
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  • 1958
    Age 22
    In 1958, while serving as the art director for a Greek-language newspaper the Atlantis, Hamill talked his way into writing his first piece about his friend, Puerto Rican professional boxer José Torres, then a neophyte middleweight and Olympic champion.
    More Details Hide Details This led Hamill to pursue writing a few letters to the editor for the New York Post of which two were printed.
  • 1957
    Age 21
    His book on the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera was inspired by time spent in Mexico City in 1957 and his presence at Rivera's funeral.
    More Details Hide Details In Tools as Art (1995), Hamill surveys the Hechinger Collection and the incorporation of utilitarian objects for aesthetic ends. His biographical essay on the artist was featured in Underground Together: The Art and Life of Harvey Dinnerstein (2008), whose work, like Hamill's, often focuses on the people and cultural life of Brooklyn. Hamill's interest in photography has informed recent essays in nonfiction. New York: City of Islands (2007), celebrates the photography of Jake Rajs. New York Exposed: Photographs from the Daily News (2001) contains an extended essay about the New York Daily News and its role in American photojournalism. In his introduction to Mexico: The Revolution and Beyond (2003), Hamill writes about Agustin Victor Casasola, whose photographs recorded the Revolution of 1910–1920. In his introduction to A Living Lens: Photographs of Jewish Life from the Pages of the Forward (2007), Hamill evokes the heyday of American Yiddish journalism. His text for The Times Square Gym (1996) enhances John Goodman's photographs of prizefighters, and his introduction to Garden of Dreams: Madison Square Garden (2004) offers a context for the sports photography of George Kalinski. Hamill's Irish heritage informs the text for The Irish Face in America (2004), as seen by the photographer Jim Smith.
  • 1956
    Age 20
    After his discharge, in 1956-57, he was a student at Mexico City College on the G.I. Bill.
    More Details Hide Details Hamill has also lived in Spain, Ireland, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Rome, Los Angeles, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. A friend of Robert F. Kennedy, Hamill helped persuade the senator to run for the United States presidency, then worked for the campaign and covered it as a journalist. He was one of four men who disarmed Sirhan Sirhan of his gun in the aftermath of the Robert F. Kennedy assassination.
  • 1952
    Age 16
    In the fall of 1952, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy.
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  • 1949
    Age 13
    In 1949, Hamill attended the prestigious Regis High School in Manhattan, but left school when he was 15 to work as an apprentice sheet metal worker in the Brooklyn Navy Yard; 59 years later, in June 2010, Regis awarded him an honorary diploma.
    More Details Hide Details Inspired especially by the work of Milton Caniff, he was set on becoming a comic book artist. Hamill attended night classes at the School of Visual Arts (then called the Cartoonists and Illustrators School), with the goal of becoming a painter.
  • 1935
    Born on June 24, 1935.
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