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In City of Champions, Hank Gola, a veteran and award-winning football writer, unveils a long-forgotten game through research spanning newspaper accounts, over 75 personal interviews, letters, oral histories, game films, recordings and photos.
Gola mines stories of the towns and the lives of the players and coaches--detailing the grit (and wild strokes of luck and fortune) that led up the Christmas night game. In a larger context, these two teams and the landmark 1939 season mirror interwar America, offering new perspectives on some of the pressing cultural, economic and socio-political issues of the era. Above all, City of Champions is a story of everyday heroes and lives well-lived.
Award-Winning Sports Journalist & Author
Hank Gola has spent over four decades as a journalist, primarily covering professional football and golf for the New York Daily News and New York Post after starting his career at The Herald-News of Passaic, NJ, and the Daily Record of Morris County, NJ, where he covered the Cosmos of the North American Soccer League and the New York Giants of the National Football League.
A native of Garfield, NJ, Gola graduated with a BA in history from Montclair State College in 1976. He has previously authored two books, Hard Nose, (HBJ, 1987) with Jim Burt, the inside story of the Giants’ 1986 Super Bowl season and Tiger Woods, (Courage Books, 1998) an illustrated biography of the then-young superstar golfer.
Gola has collected several writing awards from the Golf Writers Association of America and was most recently named the 2018 recipient of the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association's Lincoln Werden Award for golf journalism. He lives in Parsippany, N.J., with his wife, Lillian. He has two children, Henry and Julianne, and three grandchildren, Rose, Ruby and Elliot and a loyal pug, Freddie.
Hank on the Michael Kay Show
December 13, 2018
Hank Gola joins the guys to talk about his book City of Champions, detailing the epic high school football matchup from 1939 between Garfield, NJ and Miami, Florida.
New book chronicles the incredible story of the 1939 Garfield High School football team's run to a national championship
November 10, 2018
City of Champions excerpted in the New York Daily News.
NJ football: Garfield 1939 national championship recalled in book
September 19, 2018
Stephen Edelson reviews City of Champions for the Bergen Record and Asbury Park press.