George Plimpton was the editor of The Paris Review from its founding in 1953 until his death in 2003. A graduate of Harvard University and Kings College, Cambridge, Plimpton was recruited to Paris by Peter Matthiessen in 1952 and signed onto the project shortly thereafter.
Aside from his lifelong commitment to The Paris Review, Plimpton is best known for his forays into the world of professional athletics: he earned a bloody nose while sparring with Archie Moore in 1959; he exhausted himself during an outing as a pitcher against a series of MLB All Stars in 1960; he lost thirty yards during a stint as quarterback for the Detroit Lions in 1963; and he was trounced in golf by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus in 1967 ... despite a personal handicap of 18. His knack for participatory journalism also led him to test his acrobatics as an aerialist for the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus—he failed miserably—and to try his hand as a percussionist with the New York Philharmonic (where a miss-hit on the gong earned him the immediate applause of conductor Leonard Bernstein).
Plimpton authored more than fifteen books, including Paper Lion, Out of My League, and The Bogey Man. He also appeared in more than thirty films, including Lawrence of Arabia, Rio Robo, and Good Will Hunting. Plimpton was made an officier of the L’Ordre des Artes et des Lettres and a chevalier of the Legion d’honneur, and was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.more » « less