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Arnold Hano

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Arnold Hano


[edit] Biographical Information

Arnold Hano is a freelance writer whose sports-related output is concentrated almost exclusively between the years 1955 and 1975. Born in New York in 1922, he began his nearly lifelong love affair with North Manhattan's Giants at the age of 4, after the briefest of flirtations with Babe Ruth and Co., (themselves dumped most unceremoniously by the fickle 4-year-old after blowing a 3-games-to-2 margin in the 1926 World Series). Thenceforth firmly allied with the Senior Circuit, the youngster would embark on his writing career in 1930 with a mimeographed newspaper published in conjunction with his older brother.

Hano's first bona fide employment came in 1941 as a copy boy at the New York Daily News. The next year he enlisted in the Army and served in the Pacific until 1946. After the war, Hano returned to the Big Apple and a career in book publishing, first as managing editor with Bantam (1948-50), then as editor-in-chief with Lion Books (1950-54). In the latter capacity, Hano served as editor for, among others, novelists C.M. Kornbluth, David Goodis, David Karp and Jim Thompson. [1] The latter, in particular, would benefit from Hano's input, which sparked an unprecedented and never repeated period of productivity (12 novels in two years!!) in that author's stormy career.

On the afternoon of September 29th, 1954, however, Hano's career direction took a decisive turn in favor of his own writing. The occasion for this transformation was Game One of the 1954 World Series, Hano's handwritten record of which - as well as that of the fabled Willie Mays catch 'n' throw which constitutes its centerpiece - would form the basis for his breakthrough book, the now acknowledged classic, A Day in the Bleachers, published in 1955.

Later that year, Hano moved with his wife Bonnie and their family to Laguna Beach, where they live to this day, and where, in the intervening half-century or so, Hano's lived the life of Riley (the life, that is, of an employed freelance writer). He would go on to author hundreds of articles and twenty-six books, including biographies of Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, and Roberto Clemente. Moreover, in addition to the myriad miscellaneous articles, both sports-related and not, Hano would become a regular and prolific contributor to Ray Robinson's annual Baseball Stars .... series of paperback originals, producing 39 of its mini-ballplayer-biographies between 1958 and 1975 [2] (each one of which, BTW, would net its author the princely sum of 20 to 30 bucks [3]). In subsequent years, aside from continuing his freelancing in areas other than sports, Hano has taught writing at the University of Southern California, Pitzer College, and the University of California, Irvine.

[edit] Further Reading

  • Arnold Hano: "A Week With the Phillies," in The Phillies Reader, Richard Orodenker, editor (Philadelphia, Temple University Press, 2005), pp. 145-161 (This is a Google Books preview minus pp. 149-150 and 156-157)
  • Trey Strecker, editor: DEAD BALLS AND DOUBLE CURVES: An Anthology of Early Baseball Fiction (Carbondale, IL; Southern Illinois University Press; 2004), with a Foreword by Arnold Hano
  • Chris Epting: The Early Polo Grounds (Charleston, SC; Arcadia Publishing; 2009), with a Foreword by Arnold Hano

[edit] Related Sites

[edit] Notes

  1. Mark Rich: C.M. Kornbluth: the life and works of a science fiction visionary (Jefferson,NC; McFarland & Company, Inc.; 2010), p. 203
  2. Source: The Baseball Index
  3. Marty Appel: "Ray Robinson’s Baseball Stars," Sports Collectors Digest, Vintage Books Section (March 2001)
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