Peter Richmond attended Yale University, where he achieved a B.A. in philosophy, and studied under the late, great John Hersey (_Hiroshima_) and the very alive, great David Milch (_Deadwood_). Somewhere in there he also attended auto mechanics school, from which he never graduated, but which led to his eventual purchase of a ‘77 Eldorado which is currently his family’s most mechanically reliable vehicle.
He was awarded a Nieman Fellowship in Journalism at Harvard, where he studied art, architecture, paleontology, playwriting and humility.
His stories have been anthologized in 13 books, including “Best American Sportswriting of the Twentieth Century”. Â (And, yes, he had the title essay in Riverhead Press’ “I Married My Mother-in-Law.”) He is the co-host, with author David Kamp, of a public radio show about his tragic attachment to the New York Giants called “Tangled Up in Blue,” which airs weekly on NPR’s smallest affiliate, WHDD-FM.
He has been sportswriting since fifth grade when he didn’t make the basketball team so he decided to write about it so that the athletes would like him. He has worked on the staff of five newspapers, and spent 13 years on staff at a Conde Nast magazine. He has made a decent living writing about everything from sports (Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Charles Barkley, Steve Young, NASCAR’s chaplain) to murder to movie celebrities to vasectomies. He now writes books, since you’re allowed much longer to write them, and, for large chunks of time, don’t have to leave your house.
He has published six books — one a New York Times bestseller — and his most recent, “Badasses,” a history of the Oakland Raiders of the Seventies, has recently been released in paperback. He is currently working on two books for Penguin Publishing imprints: a Young Adult novel about prep school and a biography of Phil Jackson. He is also writing a dark musical about the NFL with composer Ken Lauber, and honing a stand-up routine which probably won’t go too far.
He taught English, history and drama at Indian Mountain School, in Lakeville Connecticut, and English at a community college in Winsted. With any luck (the university’s Board hasn’t given it a thumbs up yet) he is about to be be the first Masters of Arst in Teaching Fellow at Moravian University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
As a result of all of these experiences, he is curious about everything, and knows a little bit about a lot of things, but not a whole lot about anything.
He has also hitchhiked across the country a couple of times, driven across it countless times, and ridden all of Amtrakâ€™s trains. These travels instilled in a him a fascination with, and a love of, the people, towns, villages, cities, bridges, train stations, rivers, forests, fields and meadows of America. He hopes that this fascination has found its way into his writing.
Five significant career facts: 1) One of his stories was judged to be the second-best bowling story of the year 1991. 2) He has tried to work trains into everything he has ever written, usually without success. 3) In writing a book with Muhammad Ali which has never been published, he took Ali to a McDonaldâ€™s where they both ate French fries and drank strawberry milk shakes. 4) He interviewed George Clooney one afternoon, and then spent the evening at a party at Bob Hopeâ€™s house as the escort of Georgeâ€™s aunt, the late, great singer Rosemary Clooney. 5) He spent a morning with Paul Newman in his New York City apartment, whose kitchen featured two rinsed Budweiser cans in the dish-drying rack.
His work has appeared in several periodicals, including Grantland.com,Â The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Parade, GQ, Details, Architecture, Parade, Golf Digest, Travel + Leisure Golf and TV Guide, as well as two amazing magazines which, sadly, no longer exist: Play and New England Monthly.
He has interviewed hundreds of celebrities, athletes and notable people, but has discovered that the guy you end up sitting next to at the bar in a Ruby Tuesdayâ€™s just off the interstate, next to the Marriott Courtyard, is usually every bit as fascinating as the famous people, although Paul Newman would prove the exception there. But come to think of it, Newman was exactly the kind of guy whoâ€™d want to watch a football game at a franchise restaurant bar off the interstate.
His son Max, who somhow seemed to have been quoted by a major news outlet at least once a week at Occupy Wall Street last year, is a carpenter Â who spends an inordinate amount of time trying to keep his girlfriend from throwing all of his possessions out into the street.Â His daughter, whose stage name is Hillary Barleaux, because she wanted to use her middle name to distance herself from WASPdom, was one of 10 women who last year Â earned a Bachelors of Music in Composition in a class of 947 at The Berklee College of Music.
He lives in the really wonderful village of Millerton, New York, in Dutchess County, with his wife, writer and wine purveyor Melissa Davis.