avatar for Neal Thompson

Neal Thompson

I'm the author of Kickflip Boys: A Memoir of Freedom, Rebellion, and the Chaos of Fatherhood, which goes on sale May 15, 2018. I've written four other books -- biographies and narrative nonfiction -- and have blabbed about those on ESPN, the History Channel, PBS, C-Span, Fox, TNT, and NPR, plus a fun five minutes on The Daily Show.

As a journalist, over the years I've written for Outside, Esquire, Backpacker, Men's Health, Sports Illustrated, Seattle Met, the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. I spent a dozen years as a reporter at the Baltimore Sun, St. Petersburg Times, Bergen Record, Roanoke Times, and Philadelphia Inquirer. I taught creative non-fiction at the University of North Carolina’s Great Smokies Writing Program, and served on the board of Seattle Arts & Lectures. I'm a runner, reader, skier, stand-up paddleboarder, yogi, and a fan of brown liquor. I'm a naturalized Irish citizen, a mediocre guitar player. I'm from New Jersey.

As a journalist and author, I’ve mostly written about flawed and adventurous men – athletes and explorers, astronauts and bootleggers, warriors and risk-takers. And now: skateboarders. My goal has been to tell inspiring stories that capture the aspirations and warts-and-all imperfections of those trying to live big lives, especially those who overcome hurdles, hardships, and setbacks. I think "hero" is an overused word. I prefer the term striver.