Gary Smith

Gary Smith

Gary Smith has won four National Magazine Awards—the highest honor a magazine writer can earn—and his stories have appeared in the annual Best American Sportswriting anthologies 13 times, the most by any writer. The late David Halberstam selected Smith’s 1996 profile of Tiger Woods for the Best American Sportswriting of the Century.

Slate Magazine called Smith “not only the best sportswriter in America, he's the best magazine writer in America.” A 2006 survey of Associated Press sports editors selected him as the country’s top sportswriter. Two books have been published featuring his collected works: Beyond the Game: The Collected Sportswriting of Gary Smith and Going Deep: 20 Classic Sports Stories.

Smith began writing for SI in 1982. Before that he wrote for the Wilmington News-Journal, the Philadelphia Daily News, New York’s Daily News  and Inside Sports. His writing has also appeared in Rolling Stone, LIFE, Esquire and the Washington Post Sunday Magazine.

A Lewes, Del., native and one of nine children in his family, Smith graduated from La Salle University with a degree in English.

Top Stories

All Gary Smith Stories

Jul 05, 2010

7 Days in the Life of a Catastrophe

The author spent a week in Louisiana reporting on the great Gulf oil spill of 2010. He was looking for a sports story, but he found much more

Sep 29, 2008

Are You Ready for a Howling, Pagan, YouTube Oktoberfiesta?

Wrigley Field has always been the best bash in sports, and now—after this Summer of Love—certitude and dominance, ass-to-ass on the same plank in the bleachers, have replaced doubt and doom

Oct 24, 2011

Basketball was the easy part

In a new, searingly honest autobiography Hall of Famer Jerry West reveals the sources of the drive that led him to succeed both on the court and in the Lakers' front office, and of the depression that haunted him every step of the way

Feb 01, 2010

House of Hockey

Pierre and Linda Lamoureux of Grand Forks, N.D., didn't set out to breed a full hockey team, but that's what they got: six college players, including two Olympians who will skate for Team USA in Vancouver

Jun 23, 2008

Alive and Kicking

Thanks to a remarkable woman, young war refugees from three continents have found a new home on a soccer team in Georgia

Aug 01, 2011

A Boy and His Bot

Lyndon Baty wants to be a great sportscaster, but how can he do that with a ravaged immune system that makes it too dangerous for him even to go to school? Enter, a robot

Sep 28, 2009

The Power of One

At age 17 Bonnie Richardson won the Texas state track team championship all by herself. Then she did it again

Apr 18, 2011

The Wheels Of Life

Over the past 33 years, Dick Hoyt has pushed, pulled and carried his disabled son, Rick, through more than 1,000 road races and triathlons, including 28 Boston Marathons. But as time bears down on them, how much longer can they keep it up?

May 04, 2009

Ready For The Next Wave

Kelly Slater is winning world titles again—a record nine and counting—and planning to bring his sport to the masses. But before he could do that, the uneasy rider had to solve the nagging mystery of why he surfed

Jul 26, 2010

The Unexpected Hero

Former Broncos back Floyd Little and ardent fan Tom Mackie each helped the other fulfill his lifelong dream

Nov 24, 2008

Chicken Soup for the Martial Artist

The mother of woman's judo—a Jewish grandma—gets crowned

Sep 01, 2008

Gene Upshaw: 1945—2008

The Hall of Fame guard's sudden death from pancreatic cancer stunned friends and adversaries and left a huge void at the NFL Players Association, which he led for 25 years

Oct 03, 2011

"We're in Baseball Heaven"

For Phillies Nation, every game has felt like October since Cliff Lee's return. Now an ever-growing fan base wonders: Is it still O.K. to boo?

Dec 07, 2009

Tiger Versus The Machine

The superstar pays the price of fame

Jul 18, 2011

The Legions of Arms Part II: Brotherly Glove

Think it's been a treat to watch the dominance of the Phillies' rotation? You should see what Chooch sees—and know all he knows. The catcher with the nickname that was once (literally) a curse has proved to be a most unexpected blessing

Jun 24, 2013

Frank Hall, American Hero

In February 2012 a beloved football assistant faced down a killer in the midst of a school shooting. His courage that day saved lives and earned him the undying gratitude of his community. But while he and the town were changed forever, the culture of gun violence was not. Do you remember Chardon, Ohio?