• Journalism

Charles Fountain


Charles Fountain joined the Northeastern journalism faculty in 1985, following a twelve-year career as print and broadcast journalist in Worcester, Boston and New York. He has taught a variety of writing, lecture and seminar courses on both the graduate and undergraduate level, with consistently high student evaluations.

He is the author of four books. The Betrayal: The 1919 World Series and the Birth of Modern Baseball (Oxford University Press, 2015), was named one of the “Best Books of 2015” by The Boston Globe. It was called “the definitive work to date” by the New York Journal of Books, and David Shribman in The Wall Street Journal wrote: “Mr. Fountain’s book is a gripping story, populated by unforgettable characters deftly drawn for modern readers.”

Under the March Sun: The Culture and Commerce of Spring Training (Oxford University Press, 2009) was called “a revealing combination of sports and business history” by The Boston Globe. Syndicated reviewer Allen Barra, in a review that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, the Louisville Courier-Journal, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, said: “Fountain…has written that rare baseball book that also serves as a cultural history. Under the March Sun has so much atmosphere you can smell the cocoa butter as you read it.”

Sportswriter: The Life and Times of Grantland Rice (Oxford University Press, 1993) was hailed by the Chicago Sun-Times as “one of the best newspaper biographies in recent years.” Jeffrey Hart in the National Review called it “a marvelous book, a minor classic.” Fountain’s first book, Another Man’s Poison: The Life and Writing of Columnist George Frazier, (Globe Pequot Press, 1984) earned similar praise. Noted jazz critic Stanley Dance called the book “a superb piece of work.” Publisher’s Weekly wrote: “Fountain’s excellent biography gives us a vivid picture of stylish yet unhappy man and recreates the publishing and jazz scenes of the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s in the process.”

Professor Fountain has appeared more than a dozen times on the ESPN SportsCentury series, commenting on the myth and culture of American sport. In addition, he has written widely on sports, race, and journalistic history and issues. His writing has appeared in The Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today, the Columbia Journalism Review, Time Online National Review Online and Deadpsin, among other. He contributed book reviews to The Christian Science Monitor for fourteen years, and these reviews were syndicated in more than two-dozen newspapers across the country, including The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Rocky Mountain News. His books and writings have been cited in more than one hundred newspapers, magazines and journals across the country. In addition to his appearances on ESPN, he has appeared on National Public Radio, PBS, Fox News Channel, on Boston radio and television, and on more than fifty radio and television stations nationwide. In 1998-99 he was a Fellow at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center in New York City. Professor Fountain served for six years on the editorial board for Northeastern University Press. He has been a member of the Northeastern University faculty senate, served for more than ten years as head adviser for the School of Journalism and has been a member of numerous departmental, college and university committees.

As a journalist from 1973-85, Professor Fountain worked as a reporter and sports anchor for WSMW-TV in Worcester, Massachusetts and as a sports reporter for ABC Radio in New York. He is a graduate of Boston College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he stays young by rowing on the Charles River.

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  • M.S., Columbia University
  • A.B., Boston College

Research Interests

  • Journalism history.
  • Sports and American culture
  • Sports history
  • Sports journalism