Born: March 10, 1947
Ohio connection: Birth
Robert Bernard Greene, Jr., son of Robert Bernard and Phyllis Ann (Harmon) Greene, was born in 1947 in Columbus, Ohio. He received a Bachelor of Journalism from Northwestern University in 1969. He married Susan Bonet Koebel in 1971, and they have two children. Greene worked as a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1961 until 1971, and as a columnist from 1971 until 1978. He then moved to the Chicago Tribune, where he was a columnist from 1978 until 2002. He was also a syndicated columnist for the Field Newspaper Syndicate, 1976-81, and for Tribune Media Services in 1981. He worked as a contributing correspondent for ABC-TV`s Nightline in 1981. He has been a fine arts lecturer at the University of Chicago. He began writing books in the early 1970s, with his first being We Didn`t Have None of Them Fat Funky Angels on the Wall of Heartbreak Hotel: And Other Reports from America, published in 1971. He has since written many other books, including Billion Dollar Baby; Good Morning, Merry Sunshine; A Father`s Journal of His Child`s First Year; Be True to Your School: A Diary of 1964; Homecoming: When the Soldiers Returned from Vietnam; Hang Time: Days and Dreams with Michael Jordan; Chevrolet Summers, Dairy Queen Nights; and Duty: A Father, His Son, and the Man Who Won the War. A number of his books are compilations of favorite newspaper columns. Greene is considered to be an outstanding storyteller, writing effectively and with humor about personal experiences and the universal emotions they generate. A good example is Be True to Your School: A Diary of 1964, one of his most popular books. Greene told Paul Galloway of the Chicago Tribune: “I don`t think it matters where anyone went to high school or when. Everyone was 17 once, and the emotions you feel at that age are universal…everyone falls in love and has his first beer and a best friend that cruises his town in a car and maybe gets into a fight.”
Best newspaper column in Illinois, Associated Press, 1975; best sustaining feature in Chicago, Chicago Newspaper Guild, 1976; National Headliner Award, 1977, for best newspaper column in the United States; Peter Lisagor Award, 1981, for exemplary journalism; Illinois Journalist of the Year, 1995.