Talese is an author and one of the pioneers of "New Journalism," a style of reporting with a literary flourish that emerged in the 1960s. Talese is known for his ability to interview and profile intensely guarded public figures, such as Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio.
Looking back, Talese's foray into journalism seemed both serendipitous yet inevitable: As a high school student, he took up sports writing in hopes of getting a spot on the baseball team, but instead wound up with a column at the local paper; in college, he majored in journalism, claiming that, "I chose journalism as my college major because that is what I knew." Talese eventually became a sports reporter at The New York Times, and soon began penning long, sprawling essays that became characteristic of the New Journalism style. His most famous piece, the 1966 Esquire feature "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold," is often considered the most influential magazine profile ever written. Talese's bestselling 1969 book about the Times, The Kingdom and the Power, solidified his status as a journalistic heavyweight, and he's been a New York literary fixture ever since.
Talese has been married to wife Nan Talese—a highly-regarded editor with her own Doubleday imprint—for half a century. The couple has two daughters and split their time between homes in New York and Ocean City, where Talese is from.
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