William Nack's 45-year journalism career has taken him from the University of Illinois to the U.S. Army in Vietnam and from Newsday newspaper to Sports Illustrated (S.I.), from where he retired as a senior writer in 2001 after nearly 23 years in that job. Since then he has done free-lance writing for S.I, Time, GQ, and ESPN, and 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, starring Sam Shepard as Ruffian's trainer, debuted on ABC-TV in June. Nack's personal memoir of the filly, Ruffian: A Racetrack Romance, was published in May.
Disney Studios has acquired the rights to his biography of Secretariat, the greatest of American racehorses, and the studio plans to begin shooting a movie based on the book this summer. He will also serve as a consultant on that film. For ESPN, Nack recently began writing and narrating on camera a series of biographies of renowned sporting figures that will run as obituaries upon their demise.
This will mark Nack's tenth consecutive year as a CWA panelist.