Retired senior writer at Sports Illustrated magazine, William Nack brings to the assembly a wide-ranging body of knowledge on sports, the shrinking fresh-water aquifers of Long Island and walleye fishing in northern Wisconsin. He is the scourge of international kidnapping, recognized for his gourmet cooking with basil and shallots and is well-known for his expertise in the literary prose styles of Vladimir Nabokov, Roger Ebert and H. L. Mencken.
Nack began his newspaper career as the sports editor of The Daily Illini at the time when Ebert was the paper's editor-in-chief. When Ebert escaped to South Africa to practice apartheid, Nack took over as editor and succeeded in involving the paper in only one libel suit. Nack then went to Vietnam as a lieutenant in the infantry, but he saw very little action outside the bars on Tu Do Street until the Tet Offensive, and even then he spent most of his time as a propagandist under Gen. William Westmoreland in Saigon. Returning to the States, he went to work as a political-environmental writer at Newsday on Long Island. In 1979 Nack moved to Sports Illustrated, where he wrote extensively on all sports, mostly concentrating on writing long profiles of the living and the long dead.