Larry Tye runs the Boston-based Health Coverage Fellowship, which is designed to help the media do a better job covering critical health care issues. Each year it trains 10 medical journalists from newspapers, radio stations and TV outlets from across the country, on topics ranging from public health and mental health to insuring the uninsured.
From 1986 to 2001, Tye was a reporter at the Boston Globe, where his primary beat was medicine. He also served as the Globe’s environmental reporter, roving national writer, investigative reporter, and sports writer. Before that he was the environmental reporter at the Courier-Journal in Louisville, and covered government and business at the Anniston Star in Alabama.
Tye’s first book was The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays and the Birth of Public Relations. Home Lands: Portraits of the New Jewish Diaspora, looks at the renewal underway across the Jewish world, from Boston to Buenos Aires. Rising from the Rails: Pullman Porters and the Making of the Black Middle Class, explores how the black men who worked on George Pullman’s railroad sleeping cars launched the first successful black trade union, helped kick-start the Civil Rights movement, and gave birth to today’s African-American middle class. Shock: The Healing Power of Electroconvulsive Therapy, a collaboration with Kitty Dukakis, is partly a journalist’s first-person account of psychiatry’s most controversial treatment, partly a portrait of how that treatment gave one woman a new sense of control and hope after decades of debilitating depression.
Tye’s latest book, Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend, is the biography of two American icons – Satchel Paige, arguably the greatest pitcher ever to throw a baseball, and Jim Crow, the amalgam of Southern laws that mandated separation of the races everywhere from public bathrooms to schools and buses. Satchel spent most of last summer on the New York Times bestseller list, was named a Times Notable Book, and recently won two prizes – the Casey Award and the Seymour Medal – as best baseball book of 2009.
Tye was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1993-94.
Random House will release in June Tye’s biography of the longest-lived American hero of the last century: Superman. He recently began work for the same publisher on another biography of another American hero: Robert F. Kennedy.