Michael Leahy (author)

Last updated on 7 October 2017

Michael Leahy (born 1953) is an American author and award-winning writer for The Washington Post and The Washington Post Magazine. He is best known for his latest non-fiction book, The Last Innocents, which examines the tumultuous political & social change of the 1960s through the lens of the legendary Los Angeles Dodgers.[1] Leahy has also earned recognition for his 2004 book, When Nothing Else Matters, which chronicles basketball superstar Michael Jordan's last comeback to the NBA.[2] Leahy's stories have also been selected for the 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 editions of The Best American Sports Writing anthologies.[3] His first book, Hard Lessons, follows the lives of six Beverly Hills High School students, class of 1986, and deals with the challenges and anxieties of teenage life in modern America.[4]

Michael Leahy
Born 1953 (age 63–64)
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Occupation Author, journalist
Genre Non-fiction
Notable works The Last Innocents
When Nothing Else Matters
Hard Lessons
Notable awards Casey Award, 2016 (Winner)
PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing, 2017 (Nominee)
Spouse Jane Leahy
Children 1

Early life

Leahy was born in Newark, New Jersey. At age 10, he moved with his family to a suburb of Los Angeles, California. He is a graduate of Yale University.


A highly regarded feature writer known for his intimate portraits of subjects, Leahy explores everything from social issues to sports. He has written for The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and his work has appeared in Washington Post Magazine, TV Guide, Playboy Magazine and Sports Illustrated.

Leahy has published three non-fiction books: Hard Lessons (1988), When Nothing Else Matters (2004)—which was heralded by GQ Magazine as "the best sports book of the year"—and The Last Innocents (2016), winner of the 2016 Casey Award.

Along the way, he has written about subjects as wide-ranging as presidential politics, rural poverty, obesity in the American South, malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, the housecleaner dubbed fisherman-savior of Elian Gonzalez, the Army’s recruiting efforts amid the specter of the Iraq war, corporate scandals, a nudist camp, his mother’s struggles with Alzheimer's, and the playing comeback of basketball legend Michael Jordan in Washington.

The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turblent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers, Leahy's third non-fiction book, was published on May 10, 2016 by Harper Collins. The book won the 2016 Casey Award and was later nominated as a finalist for the 2017 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing.[5]

Awards and nominations

  • In 2006, his Washington Post Magazine story about a single mother from Massachusetts who took her two young children across the country to meet their father – a sperm donor known to the woman for years only as Donor 929 – won honors from the Society of Professional Journalists as the best magazine story in the country for that year.


Leahy resides with his wife in a suburb of Washington D.C.



External links

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