John Branch is a sports reporter for The New York Times. He won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2013 for “Snow Fall,” a story about a deadly avalanche in Washington State, and was a finalist for the prize in 2012 for his series of stories about Derek Boogaard, a professional hockey player who overdosed on painkillers.
John’s work has been featured in The Best American Sports Writing; and his first book, BOY ON ICE, won the ESPN Prize for Literary Sports Writing.
In this conversation John and I discuss his journey from working at Costco to writing for The New York Times, how the evolving interconnectedness of sports, culture, and politics is changing the job for journalists, and how he uses sports as a backdrop to tell powerful human stories that often have tragedy as a central theme.
The CTE story we reference in the episode: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/31/sports/cte-football-hairston-super-bowl.html
John’s Pulitzer winning feature: http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/index.html#/?part=tunnel-creek
John’s latest book: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Cowboys-Pioneer-Family-West/dp/0393292347
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