William Nack's 45-year journalism career jostled him from the University of Illinois to the U.S. Army in Vietnam to Newsday newspaper and finally to Sports Illustrated (S.I.). Nack retired as a senior writer at S.I in 2001, after nearly 23 years in that job. Since then he has done free-lance writing for S.I, Time, and GQ and he has been involved in film consulting and book writing. Recently he was the consulting producer for an ESPN made-for-TV movie on the life of the brilliant and undefeated filly Ruffian, who died after breaking down in a nationally televised match race in 1975. The movie is scheduled to debut on ABC-TV in June. Nack’s personal memoir of the filly, Ruffian: A Racetrack Romance, will be published in May. Nack has also just finished work for ESPN on the pilot for a proposed series called Unsettled Scores that will be aired later this year.
During his journalism career, Nack trafficked with assorted heroes and rogues and attended everything from the execution of Gary Mark Gilmore in Utah, to the adventures of the Israeli national basketball team in Tel Aviv during the Gulf War. Along the way, he had a grand time of it. He recited portions of The Great Gatsby with Hunter S. Thompson in Las Vegas, drank with novelist Frederick Exley in Florida, had dinner with Bo Derek at Caesars Palace, put out a newspaper with Roger Ebert at Illinois, attended the 1968 Tet Offensive with 150,000 Viet Cong soldiers in Saigon, and watched Secretariat win the Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths.