Clavin, Tom 1954-
Clavin, Tom 1954-
Born July 25, 1954, in New York, NY; son of Joseph Francis and Gertrude Anne Clavin; married Nancy Claire Hamma, August 8, 1976; children: Kathryn, Brendan. Education: University of Southern California, B.A., 1976; State University of NewYork, Stonybrook, M.A., 1994.
Home—Sag Harbor, NY.
Writer, journalist, editor. Suffolk Community College, adjunct professor of journalism, 1987-95; Independent (newspaper), East Hampton, NY, editor-in-chief, 1993-2003; Independent (newspaper), Southampton, NY, editor-in-chief, 1996-2003; New York Times, contributing writer.
Six-time recipient, best magazine article of the year award, Society of Professional Journalists.
(With Darlene Powell Hopson and Derek S. Hopson) Raising the Rainbow Generation: Teaching Your Children to Be Successful in a Multicultural Society, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1993.
(With Darlene Powell Hopson and Derek S. Hopson) Juba This and Juba That: 100 African-American Games for Children, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1996.
(With Martin Obler) Fatal Analysis: A True Story of Professional Privilege and Murder, New Horizon Press (Far Hills, NJ), 1997.
(With Bob Bubka) The Ryder Cup: Golf's Greatest Event, Crown Publishers (New York, NY), 1999.
Dark Noon: The Final Voyage of the Fishing Boat Pelican, International Marine/McGraw-Hill (Camden, ME), 2005.
Sir Walter: Walter Hagen and the Invention of Professional Golf, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2005.
(With Bob Drury) Halsey's Typhoon: The True Story of a Fighting Admiral, an Epic Storm, and an Untold Rescue, Atlantic Monthly Press (New York, NY), 2007.
Contributor to numerous magazines and newspapers, including Reader's Digest, Golf Magazine, Men's Journal, Woman's Day, Parade, and Family Circle.
Tom Clavin is a newspaper editor and journalist who has written on topics from sports to the environment. He has also authored numerous booklength nonfiction works, both collaborating with others and writing on his own. His 1993 book Raising the Rainbow Generation: Teaching Your Children to Be Successful in a Multicultural Society, written with Darlene Powell Hopson and Derek S. Hopson, is an examination of the origins of racial and ethnic stereotyping, and serves as a guide for parents to raise children without such preconceptions. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly found this a "needed" work, with advice that was "realistic, not Pollyannaish, and well-focused, not preachy." In Fatal Analysis: A True Story of Professional Privilege and Murder, written with the psychologist Martin Obler, Clavin tells the purportedly real story of a client of Obler's—named Devon Cardon in the book—whom the psychologist comes to realize is a serial killer. Obler is subsequently torn between professional ethics and a moral need to report the man to the police. For Brian McCombie, writing in Booklist, Fatal Analysis presents a "disturbing examination of professional ethics at odds with one's responsibility as a human being." A Publishers Weekly reviewer had a more mixed opinion of the book, observing: "Despite wooden descriptions and stilted dialogue, the authors produce a brisk read."
Clavin turned to sports for other titles. The Ryder Cup: Golf's Greatest Event provides a historical background to this rivalry between golfers from the United States and Europe. Writing with fellow golf journalist Bob Bubka, Clavin also offered a preview of the 1999 competition with an in-depth description of the 1997 meeting. Writing in Booklist, Ilene Cooper noted: "Even those who thought they knew the ins and outs of the Ryder Cup will be caught up in the drama." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly concluded that The Ryder Cup was "for the true golf fan, the one that shoots 36 holes in subarctic temperatures and is unhappy when darkness falls." Clavin's 2005 title, Sir Walter: Walter Hagen and the Invention of Professional Golf, provides a biographical portrait of the man who changed the way golf was perceived by the American public. Growing up poor, Hagen worked as a caddie as a youth. He learned the game from the men whose bags he carried and went on to win five PGA tournaments as well as championships abroad, earning an impressive living from the sport, and becoming a flashy showcase for golf in his personal life. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly commented that Clavin "deftly shows how Hagen's success … and his showman's personality inspired the 1920s boom in American golf." This led to increased participation, new courses being built, and to the creation of the PGA itself. The same reviewer also felt that the author "infuses his narrative with impressive facts" and also "captivatingly portrays Hagen's personal life." Richard J. Moss, writing in the Historian, felt that Sir Walter was a "breezy, full account" of the golfer's life and rise to prominence, but that it "does not ask interesting questions about Hagen and his place in modern sport history." However, Moss went on to conclude that the book "will take its place on a growing list of biographies that collectively have enriched golf history." Booklist contributor Bill Ott had higher praise, calling Sir Walter "a fascinating slice of golf history."
Halsey's Typhoon: The True Story of a Fighting Admiral, an Epic Storm, and an Untold Rescue, writ- ten with Bob Drury, uses newly declassified material to describe one of the major maritime events of World War II, one which had gone largely unreported for decades. The famed Admiral William Halsey was partly responsible for losing three destroyers and eight hundred men when he put his fleet in the path of a 1944 typhoon. The authors recount the pressured decision-making that led to this maritime disaster, as well as the heroic efforts to save fellow sailors in the aftermath. A Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote that the book is "a vivid tale of tragedy and gallantry at sea." A Kirkus Reviews critic faulted the work for weak characterization, but concluded: "The inherent drama of the events compensates for the sometimes lackluster storytelling." However, Roland Green, writing in Booklist, had no such critical reservations, terming Halsey's Typhoon "an entirely gripping account and a guaranteed hit with maritime buffs."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 1, 1997, Brian McCombie, review of Fatal Analysis: A True Story of Professional Privilege and Murder, p. 912; April 15, 1999, Ilene Cooper, review of The Ryder Cup: Golf's Greatest Event, p. 1500; February 15, 2005, Bill Ott, review of Sir Walter: Walter Hagen and the Invention of Professional Golf, p. 1049; November 15, 2006, Roland Green, review of Halsey's Typhoon: The True Story of a Fighting Admiral, an Epic Storm, and an Untold Rescue, p. 20.
Historian, fall, 2006, Richard J. Moss, review of Sir Walter, p. 571.
Internet Bookwatch, March, 2007, review of Halsey's Typhoon.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2006, review of Halsey's Typhoon, p. 998.
Library Journal, January 1, 2005, Steven Silkunas, review of Sir Walter, p. 119.
Publishers Weekly, November 29, 1993, review of Raising the Rainbow Generation: Teaching Your Children to Be Successful in a Multicultural Society, p. 61; November 18, 1996, review of Fatal Analysis, p. 52; April 26, 1999, review of The Ryder Cup, p. 69; December 13, 2004, review of Sir Walter, p. 56; October 9, 2006, review of Halsey's Typhoon, p. 47.
Halsey's Typhoon Web site,http://www.halseystyphoon.com (April 9, 2007).