Roger Kahn was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1927. His family, originally from Alsace, settled in Brooklyn during the 1850s. Both his father and grandfather had a great love of baseball and were avid fans of the Brooklyn Dodgers, transmitting their passion to young Roger, at the despair of his mother, the highly-cultured Olga Kahn, who saw baseball as a waste of time. Olga did succeed in transmitting to her son another passion that would serve him well in life, for poetry and good writing.
After three years of college, Kahn joined the New York Herald Tribune as a copyboy in the late 1940s, and quickly made his way up by writing stories about local sports. In 1952, he was given the job as the reporter covering the Dodgers for the season, a position he held for all of 1953 as well. Both years, the Dodgers went all the way to the World Series only to lose to the New York Yankees, and soon after the end of the 1953 World Series, Dodgers manager Charlie Dressen, who had become a close friend, was fired, and Kahn's father, Gordon Kahn, died of a sudden heart attack, marking the end of Roger's boyhood. He would later turn his recollections of those two seasons, complemented with interviews of former Dodger players conducted 15 years later, into the classic book The Boys of Summer, published in 1972, which is regarded as one of the best books ever written about baseball.
In 1954, Kahn took a job with the newly-founded Sports Illustrated where he became a feature writer. He eventually branched out into other fields of reporting, while still retaining his undying love for baseball and his attachment for the regretted Brooklyn Dodgers. His other books about baseball include: The Seventh Game (1982, a novel); Good Enough to Dream (1985 - about his one season as owner of a minor league franchise Utica Blue Sox); Joe and Marilyn (1986 - a work about the stormy marriage of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe); The Era, 1947-1957: When the Yankees, the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers ruled the World (1993); The Head Game: Baseball Seen from the Pitcher's Mound (2000); and Rickey & Robinson (2014 - about Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier).
- Roger Kahn: The Boys of Summer, Perennial Classics, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, NY, 2000 (originally published in 1972).
- Roger Kahn: The Era, 1947-1957: When the Yankees, the Giants, and the Dodgers Ruled the World, Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2002 (originally published in 1993). ISBN 0803278055
- Roger Kahn: Rickey & Robinson: The True, Untold Story of the Integration of Baseball, Rodale, New York, NY, 2014. ISBN 978-1623362973