Robert Lipsyte is the author of The Contender and its two sequels, The Brave and The Chief. The Contender was one of the first novels to take a realistic look at teenagers and has been required reading in many American school systems for more than thirty years. Recognizing the importance of that book as well as his other works, ALA honored Lipsyte with the Margaret A. Edwards Award in 2001. For decades, Lipsyte was an award-winning sports reporter for the New York Times. Born and raised in New York, Lipsyte is a lifelong fan of baseball. In fact, as a young sportswriter covering the city's new franchise in 1962, Lipsyte briefly tried out for the New York Mets. He refers to it as "a great learning experience." Lipsyte's other sports books for young adults include biographies of Jim Thorpe, Joe Louis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Mr. Lipsyte still lives in New York City.