Kornheiser, Anthony (I.) 1948-
KORNHEISER, Anthony (I.) 1948-
PERSONAL: Born July 13, 1948, in New York, NY; son of Ira James (a dress cutter) and Estelle R. (a homemaker) Kornheiser; married Karril Fox (a bridal consultant), May 7, 1972; children: Elizabeth L., Michael. Education: Harpur College (now of the State University of New York at Binghamton), B.A., 1970. Hobbies and other interests: "Outdoor cooking, contemporary music, wandering through zoos in cities along the way, compulsive note-taking," reading, gardening.
ADDRESSES: Office—Washington Post, 1150 15th St.N.W., Washington, DC 20071. Agent—Esther Newburg, International Creative Management, 40 West 57th St., New York, NY 10019.
CAREER: Journalist and radio/television commentator. Newsday, Garden City, NY, reporter, 1970-75; New York Times, New York, NY, reporter, 1976-79; Washington Post, Washington, DC, reporter/columnist, 1979—. WMAL-Radio, Washington, DC, cohost of Out of Bounds, 1988-90; WJLA-TV, Washington, DC, host of Tony Kornheiser Show, 1989; regular guest on Sports Reporter, ESPN-TV, 1989-92; WTEM-Radio, Washington, DC, host of Tony Kornheiser Show, 1992.
AWARDS, HONORS: Best feature story, Associated Press Sports Editors, 1977 and 1981; best feature story, Best Sports Stories Competition, 1978; Front Page Award, New York Newspaper Guild, 1980; best column, U.S. Basketball Writers, 1988; D.C. Sportswriter of the Year Award, 1989-90.
under name tony kornheiser
The Baby Chase, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1983.
Pumping Irony: Working Out the Angst of a Lifetime, Times Books/Random House (New York, NY), 1995.
Bald As I Wanna Be, Villard (New York, NY), 1997.
I'm Back for More Cash: A Tony Kornheiser Collection (Because You Can't Take Two Hundred Newspapers into the Bathroom, Villard Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Contributor to periodicals, including Sports Illustrated, Sport, Rolling Stone, Cosmopolitan, New York, and New York Times Magazine. Author of syndicated humor column.
SIDELIGHTS: Anthony "Tony" Kornheiser is an often-praised columnist for the Washington Post known for his sense of humor and his honesty. His major interest is sports, although he has admitted a very strong interest in something else: trying to figure out how to get from one place to another without having to book a flight on a plane. His weekly columns are filled with his everyday experiences avoiding airplanes, and he writes in a voice most readers can relate to. Although Kornheiser now considers himself lucky because he gets paid to do what he likes, he didn't always dream of becoming a journalist. At one time, he wanted to play professional basketball. The interest waned, however, and after graduating from college and completing his first year of teaching at an elementary school, he decided that writing might be the most fun of all. He started out as a feature writer for Newsday, writing a weekly column on rock music. Then in 1976, he joined the New York Times and began focusing his writing on sports. Three years later, Kornheiser joined the Washington Post. He's been there ever since. In his spare time, he writes books.
In his first book, 1983's The Baby Chase, Kornheiser chronicles the frustrations, fears, and uncertainties associated with the child-adoption process. A personal account of the experiences faced by the author and his wife due to their inability to have offspring of their own, the volume describes the couple's deliberation about whether or not they should obtain a child via the "gray market"—a private adoption racket that works around the boundaries of the law to provide babies to prospective parents for a substantial fee. In The Baby Chase Kornheiser reports the events surrounding the adoption proceedings, the various individuals involved in the sale, and the pair's ultimate decision against buying a baby. Told with bits of humor despite its serious subject matter, the book was lauded by some reviewers for its candid descriptions. Noting that "the facts are sensational," Toronto Globe and Mail reviewer Nancy Wigston called The Baby Chase "oddly sincere" and "painfully revealing." Washington Post Book World reviewer Lynne McTaggart echoed similar praise, suggesting that "in recounting these difficult days, Kornheiser is brutally frank, laying bare his most private feelings."
In 1995 Kornheiser published a selection of his newspaper columns in the book Pumping Irony: Working Out the Angst of a Lifetime, which covers many of his favorite topics, including children, driving, and certain scandals in the news. In his second collection, Bald As I Wanna Be, Kornheiser helps readers "cheer up," wrote A. J. Anderson in the Library Journal. Anderson also stated that one reason Kornheiser's humor works is that he is not consciously "trying to be funny." Then in 2002, Kornheiser's third collection, I'm Back for More Cash: A Tony Kornheiser Collection (Because You Can't Take Two Hundred Newspapers into the Bathroom) was published. His topics remain somewhat constant as he writes anecdotes about his family and friends, sports and political figures. A reviewer for Kirkus Reviews dubbed the book "a hoot."
Besides his publications, Kornheiser is also the host of his own show on ESPN Radio and on the ESPN television network. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two children.
Kornheiser is forthright about the secret of his success as a columnist, once telling CA: "My viewpoint in writing is simple: Don't lie. Tell the truth as simply and entertainingly as possible. Write it for regular people and don't patronize them. I'm fortunate in my occupation. I like what I do. I hope I can say that for twenty-five more years."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), June 16, 1984.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2002, review of I'm Back for More Cash: A Tony Kornheiser Collection, pp. 471-472.
Library Journal, October 15, 1995, Joe Accardi, review of Pumping Irony: Working Out the Angst of a Lifetime, p. 62; November 1, 1997, A. J. Anderson, review of Bald As I Wanna Be, p. 74; April 15, 2002, A. J. Anderson, review of I'm Back for More Cash, p. 86.
New York Times Book Review, December 24, 1995, Ruth Bayard Smith, review of Pumping Irony, p. 11.
Publishers Weekly, September 18, 1995, review of Pumping Irony, p. 121; September 29, 1997, review of Bald As I Wanna Be, p. 72.
Washingtonian, December, 1995, Harry Jaffe, "Kornheiser Makes Book on Bad Hair and Middle-Age Spread," p. 9.
Washington Post Book World, November 6, 1983. *