Charles P. Pierce was born December 28, 1953 in Worcester, Mass. Six months earlier, his mother hid in the basement as a massive tornado leveled his future hometown of Shrewsbury, Mass. The effect of prenatal imprinting is still being debated in medical circles, but a connection does not seem implausible.
He is a 1975 graduate of Marquette University, where he majored in journalism and brewery tours. He was delighted to combine his vocation and his avocation once again when he returned to Milwaukee to cover the trial of Jeffrey Dahmer.
He attended graduate school at Boston College for two days. He is a former forest ranger for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and still ponders the question of what possesses people to go into the woods and throw disposable diapers up into trees.
He began his journalism career writing bowling agate for the Milwaukee papers and remains justly proud of his ability to spell multi-syllabic, vowel-free Eastern European names. He has written for the alternative press, including Worcester Magazine and the Boston Phoenix and was a sports columnist for the Boston Herald. He was a feature writer and columnist for the late, lamented sports daily, The National. He has been a writer-at-large for a men’s fashion magazine, and his work has appeared in the Boston Globe, the New York Times Magazine, the LA Times Magazine and the Chicago Tribune, among others. He appears weekly on National Public Radio’s sports program “Only A Game,” is a regular panelist on NPR’s game show, “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me” and is a frequent host on ESPN Radio. Since July, 1997 he has been a writer at large at Esquire, covering everything from John McCain to the Hubble telescope, with more than a few shooting stars thrown in between. In April 2002, he joined the staff of the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine.
Charles Pierce is the recipient of numerous professional awards and honors. On several occasions, he was named a finalist for the Associated Press Sports Editor’s award for best column writing, and it has been suggested that if only he would wear a tie, they might have let him win. He was a 1996 National Magazine Award finalist for his piece on Alzheimer’s disease, “In the Country of My Disease,” and has expanded the piece into a book, “Hard to Forget: An Alzheimer’s Story” for Random House. Charlie Pierce has appeared in Best American Sportswriting more times than any other writer, and his work has been anthologized in “Sports Guy: In Search of Corkball, Warroad Hockey, Hooters Golf, Tiger Woods, and the Big, Big Game.” He was awarded third place in the PBWAA Dan S. Blumenthal Memorial Writing Contest. When he won Phone Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek sent him a plaque.
Charles Pierce lives in metro Boston with his three children, a malfunctioning Toro lawnmower and his extremely long-suffering wife.