Author Profile

Andrew Maraniss

Andrew Maraniss

A New York Times bestseller, winner of the RFK Book Awards' “Special Recognition” honor and the Lillian Smith Book Award, Strong Inside is the first book by Andrew Maraniss.

A partner at McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations in Nashville, Andrew studied history at Vanderbilt University as a recipient of the Fred Russell – Grantland Rice sports writing scholarship, earning the school's Alexander Award for excellence in journalism and graduating in 1992. He then worked for five years in Vanderbilt's athletic department as the associate director of media relations, dealing primarily with the men's basketball team. In 1998, he served as the media relations manager for the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays during the team's inaugural season, and then returned to Nashville to join MP&F.

The son of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author David Maraniss and trailblazing environmentalist Linda Maraniss, Andrew was born in Madison, Wis., grew up in Washington, D.C. and Austin, Texas and now lives in Brentwood, Tenn., with his wife Alison, and their two young children.

"Strong Inside is a wonderful tale of athletics, the struggle for civil rights, and the painful integration of higher education. Our university - and especially our students - were honored to host Andrew Maraniss and hear his story first-hand. Indeed all young people should know the inspiring story of Perry Wallace whose life reminds us of the impact one courageous and determined person can have."
-- Betsy Bugg Holloway, Ph.D., Samford University

"Andrew Maraniss captured the hearts and minds of two generations of people at the National Civil Rights Museum, just feet away from where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was struck down by an assassin's bullet. Maraniss conveyed the unsung story of a hero, not only on the basketball court, but as a civil rights pioneer. As he relayed the life and legacy of Perry Wallace in his critically acclaimed book Strong Inside, Americans of all races learned a valuable story of courage, morality, humility. This book deserves a permanent spot in every library and bookstore across the globe for fans of basketball and American history."
-- Ryan Jones, Historian, National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel

"Andrew has not only brought us the truly remarkable written word of Strong Inside -- in person, he brings the story to life. Andrew's energy, passion and talents are extraordinary. The back story of Strong Inside shows heart-felt dedication to lifting the Perry Wallace story out of the shadows; that dimension makes for a very compelling program. He is also very organized, has great ideas and is a pleasure to work with."
-- Hilary Craiglow, M.L.I.S., Director of Communications, Jean and Alexander Heard Library Vanderbilt University

""Our assembly featuring Andrew Maraniss and Perry Wallace was one of the very best we have hosted at Maret in my 25 years at the school. There were so many amazing threads and themes of the presentation: the power of stories, the extraordinary relationship between Andrew and Perry, and the nature of what it is to be a civil rights pioneer and the courage this requires. As Andrew and Perry walked around campus after the assembly, they were greeted as rock stars by students and faculty because of the deeply moving impact they had on our community."
-- Lynn Levinson, The Maret School, Washington, D.C., Assistant Head of Upper School

"I have observed middle school students in sessions with a professional athlete and well-known songwriters, and I have never seen them as engaged as they were when Andrew Maraniss spoke to them. "
-- Molly Dunn, Ensworth (Lower/Middle) School, Nashville, TN, Guidance Counselor

"Most students have studied the civil rights era, but probably haven't 'lived' it through others. Perry's story does that for them. Andrew's message not only brought the past to life for our students, it called each to a place of reflective thought. Students came away with a more empathetic view of the civil rights era and a stronger determination towards positive action rather than complacent non-action."
-- Greg Griffeth, Pulaski Academy, Little Rock, AR, Head of Upper School

For more about Andrew and his works, go to

Reviews of Strong Inside

In a magnificently reported, nuanced but raw account of basketball and racism in the South during the 1960s, Andrew Maraniss tells the story of Perry Wallace's struggle, loneliness, perseverance and eventual self-realization. A rare story about physical and intellectual courage that is both shocking and triumphant.
-- Bob Woodward, Washington Post associate editor and author

Videos featuring Andrew Maraniss

Strong Inside - Book Trailer

Strong Inside Launch at Parnassus Books