Radio Wolinsky

Roger Kahn (1927-2020): The Boys of Summer

Roger Kahn, who died on February 6, 2020 at the age of 92, was one of the icons in the world of baseball writing. His classic “The Boys of Summer,” about his relationship with his father and their united love for the Brooklyn Dodgers, is one of the greatest baseball books of all time. He started his career in journalism in 1948 as a copyboy for the New York Herald Tribune and within four years was covering the Dodgers for that newspaper. He moved over to Newsweek in 1956 and the Saturday Evening Post in 1963 as he revved up his career writing both fiction and non-fiction books, mostly but not exclusively about baseball, and the ups and downs of his own life.

On October 13, 1993, Richard A. Lupoff and Richard Wolinsky sat down for an extended interview with Roger Kahn about his book, “The Era: 1947-1957, when the Yankees, the Giants and the Dodgers Ruled the World. “ It turned out he was a marvelous raconteur, as well as a keen historian of racism in the sport. In fact, his final book, published in 2014, was titled “Rickey and Robinson: The True, Untold Story of the Integration of Baseball.”  (Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson).

Dick Lupoff and Richard Wolinsky would interview Roger Kahn once more, in 1998, but that interview focused not on baseball but on a biography of boxer Jack Dempsey. After this interview, Roger Kahn would go on to write six more books, including not only the history of the early days of integration, and the biography of Dempsey, but a memoir of the people he met, a book about the view from the pitching mound, and a history of the New York Yankees improbable run for the pennant in 1978.

Digitized, remastered and re-edited in 2020 by Richard Wolinsky. This interview has not aired since its original broadcast, and never in its full length.