Philip Hersh spent 28 years as Olympic sports writer for the Chicago Tribune. He has covered 19 Olympics -- 11 Winter and 8 Summer -- seven soccer World Cups (four men, three women), 30 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, 13 World Figure Skating Championships, 12 World Track and Field Championships, two Pan American Games and more than two dozen other national championships in Olympic sports.
As an internationally recognized expert in the field, Hersh has appeared on the NBC Today Show and Nightly News; the ABC Evening News; CBS Sunday Morning and CBS Olympic coverage; ESPN’s Sportsweek; CNN; Chicago Tonight; Monitor Radio, PBS Radio and NPR.
He also covered many major events in U.S. college and pro sports, including the Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup playoffs, NBA playoffs, the Preakness, NCAA basketball Final Four (men’s and women’s) and bowl games. He has profiled hundreds of leading professional, collegiate and Olympic athletes.Hersh has reported from some 50 countries. His purview has encompassed Olympic politics (including such things as Chicago's failed bid for the 2016 Summer Games). His favorite part of the job has been using sport as a way to write about the culture of a country or an athlete.
Hersh was born in Boston and graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in French and did advanced study in Spanish and Italian. He worked for the Gloucester (Mass.) Daily Times, Baltimore Evening Sun, Chicago Daily News and Chicago Sun-Times before joining the Tribune in 1984.
He has been a four-time nominee for the Pulitzer Prize and a winner of multiple Associated Press Sports Editors annual writing awards, Chicago Headline Club awards and Chicago Society of Black Journalists award. A German publication, SportIntern, ranked him among the 100 most influential people in international sport 15 times. Hersh received a 2016 Distinguished Service Award from the United States Sports Academy "for his commitment to reporting on the global world of sport, including his notable coverage of the Olympic Games."
N.Y. Times columnist George Vecsey wrote that "among the qualities of an ideal journalist is the international vision of Phil Hersh." Noting the writer’s “long and illustrious career” in a letter to Hersh following his retirement from the Tribune in November, 2015, International Olympic Committee President ThomasBach also said: “At every edition of the OIympic Games one can be certain of three things: A spectacular opening ceremony, a global audience watching the world’s finest athletes compete for gold, and Phil Hersh asking difficult questions on behalf of his readers.”