Gary M. Pomerantz is a nonfiction author and journalist, and has served the past fifteen years as a lecturer in the Department of Communication at Stanford University.

His sixth and most recent book, The Last Pass, a New York Times bestseller about Bob Cousy and the storied Boston Celtics dynasty of the 1950s and sixties, is an intimate story about a basketball icon at ninety coming to terms with his racial regrets.

Pomerantz spent 17 years as a daily journalist, first as a sportswriter for The Washington Post where he covered Georgetown University basketball, and the National Football League, and later at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution where he wrote about race, sports, culture and politics, and served for a time on the newspaper’s editorial board.

His nonfiction books cover a wide array of topics. The first, Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn, a multi-generational biography of Atlanta and its racial conscience, was named in 1996 a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times. The book has been optioned and is currently in development as a period drama television series.

Nine Minutes, Twenty Seconds (2001), about an air crash, has been published in Britain, Germany and China, and was termed by The London Evening Standard “a flawlessly constructed narrative . . . a masterpiece of non-fiction storytelling.”

In 2005 he followed with WILT, 1962, a story about race, celebrity and basketball star Wilt Chamberlain’s legendary 100-point game. The book returned him to his sportswriting roots, and was an Editors’ Choice selection by The New York Times Book Review. The Devil’s Tickets (2009) is a narrative from the Roaring Twenties about a sensational killing and murder trial in Kansas City and the contract bridge craze that swept America. National Public Radio hailed it as “deliciously detailed and splendidly written.”

His fifth book, Their Life’s Work , a narrative about the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers dynasty that examines football’s gifts and costs, was named a finalist for the 2014 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing.

A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor’s degree in history, Pomerantz was named as a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan in 1987-88. Later he served from 1999-2001 as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism at Emory University in Atlanta where he taught courses on news reporting and writing, and on the history of the American press. As a lecturer at Stanford, he has taught Communication 177SW/277S, Specialized Writing and Reporting: Sports Journalism, and Communication 104: Reporting, Writing and Understanding the News. In winter 2023, he will teach Communication 177SW/277S.

Academic Appointments

  • Lecturer, Communication

2023-24 Courses