By Joe Posnanski
(Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9781451657494, 416pp.)
Publication Date: August 21, 2012
Joe Posnanski’s biography of the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno follows in the tradition of works by Richard Ben Cramer on Joe DiMaggio and David Maraniss on Vince Lombardi. Having gained unprecedented access to Paterno, as well as the coach’s personal notes and files, Posnanski spent the last two years of Paterno’s life covering the coach, on (and off) the field and through the scandal that ended Paterno’s legendary career.
Joe Posnanski, who in 2012 was named the Best Sportswriter in America by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame, was with Paterno and his family as a horrific national scandal unfolded and Paterno was fired. Within three months, Paterno died of lung cancer, a tragic end to a life that was epic, influential, and operatic.
Paterno is the fullest description we will ever have of the man’s character and career. In this honest and surprising portrait, Joe Posnanski brings new insight and understanding to one of the most controversial figures in America.
Joe Posnanski is a senior writer at the new USA TODAY venture Sports On Earth. Previously, he was a senior writer at Sports Illustrated and wrote about sports for the Kansas City Star for sixteen years. In 2011 he was named National Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame. He is the author of four books, including The Soul of Baseball, the 2007 winner of the Casey Award as America’s best baseball book. He lives with his family in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"Paterno is a portrait very much in three dimensions. It is the story of an extraordinary life."
"Paterno adds grain and texture to the historical record.... makes a cogent case for absorbing Paterno's entire legacy."
"I urge you to read [Paterno]. . . A life is never defined entirely by a man's good, or by his bad."
"It is exhilirating to read of Paterno the man and gripping to read of his downfall."
The truth is that [Paterno] is a portrait very much in three dimensions. In that sense, Posnanski succeeds…We are left with this book as the final record of the final days. It is more than that, obviously - it is the story of an extraordinary life - but it is most compelling as a chronicle of the end.”