|Born||16 May 1986|
Mary Pilon (born 16 May 1986 in Eugene, Oregon) is an American journalist who primarily writes about sports and business. A regular contributor to the New Yorker and Bloomberg Businessweek, her books are The Monopolists (2015) and The Kevin Show (2018). The former is being developed into a feature film. She has also worked as a staff reporter covering sports for The New York Times and has also written for Vice, Esquire, NBC News, among other outlets.
At The Times, Pilon authored "Tomato Can Blues," a true-crime story of Charles Rowan; the story was the first-ever graphic novel for the paper and the first audiobook, narrated by actor Bobby Cannavale. Her 2016 investigative reporting on sexual harassment in the trucking industry helped fuel a class action lawsuit by women truckers. In reporting on the NFL's domestic violence policies for Bleacher Report/CNN the next year, the writer found that the league seldom enforced its own policies. She has also reported on the circumstances surrounding runner Steve Prefontaine`s death for ESPN's Grantland and was among the first to report on Donald Trump's immigrant mother in June 2016.
Early life and education
Born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, she attended the city's Winston Churchill High School and first reported for her hometown newspaper, The Register-Guard, as a teenager. She then attended New York University, a member of the graduating class of 2008 with a degree in politics and journalism. Her senior thesis on the people and politics of methamphetamine trafficking won the school's Edwin Diamond Award.
Pilon has worked for Dow Jones, USA Today and New York Magazine and, from 2006 to 2008, Gawker. From 2008 to 2011, she reported for the Wall Street Journal Money and Investing Section on finance and Wall Street during the financial crisis, one of the youngest reporters on staff. She won the 2011 Gerald Loeb Award for Breaking News for her coverage of the 2010 Flash Crash. Her New Yorker contributions focus on the legal and financial aspects of sports.
At The Times, Pilon authored "Tomato Can Blues," a true-crime story of Charles Rowan, an amateur cage fighter who faked his own death. The story was the first-ever graphic novel for the paper and the first audiobook, narrated by actor Bobby Cannavale.
On 17 February 2015, Bloomsbury released her first book, The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game, which tells the true story of the board game Monopoly. Pilon spent more than five years investigating the game's origins, which date back to feminist Lizzie Magie and the Progressive Era. The book discusses economics professor Ralph Anspach's decade-long legal battle over the rights to his own game, Anti-Monopoly, as well as his efforts to uncover Magie as the game's true inventor, even as Parker Brothers had incorrectly claimed that a man, Charles Darrow, had invented the game during the Great Depression. (Magie died in 1948 in obscurity, working as a secretary in Washington, D.C. and made $500 off her invention.) The book was a quick bestseller and received to critical acclaim, including positive reviews in Slate, the Los Angeles Times, the New Republic, and the Boston Globe, among others. Journalist Gay Talese said that Pilon "writes with the assurance and energy of a historian who knows she has struck gold."
As a result of Pilon's reporting, Magie and Ralph Anspach's lawsuit and efforts to unearth her story have resulted in Magie being acknowledged by a variety of news outlets, academics, the National Women's History Museum, and as a Jeopardy! clue. The book has been translated into several languages and is currently in development as a feature film by the production company behind Little Miss Sunshine and Adaptation.
Pilon's 2016 investigative reporting on sexual harassment in the trucking industry helped fuel a class action lawsuit by women truckers. In reporting on the NFL's domestic violence policies for Bleacher Report/CNN the next year, the writer found that the league seldom enforced its own policies. She has also reported on the circumstances surrounding runner Steve Prefontaine`s death for ESPN's Grantland. She also was among the first to report on Donald Trump's immigrant mother in June 2016.
She has also written for Vice, Esquire, NBC Sports, including items on the 2016 and 2018 Olympics for the latter. She has also had articles published in Fast Company, Smithsonian Magazine, and Medium.
The Kevin Show tells the true story of Olympic and America`s Cup sailor Kevin Hall, who has battled a rare form of bipolar disorder known as the Truman Show Delusion. The book, released by Bloomsbury in March 2018, is a four-year culmination of reporting on Hall's delusions, the reality of being an Olympian, and an examination of mental illness. The book was a national bestseller and received positive reviews. Kirkus Reviews called it "grippingly provocative reading" and psychiatrist Dr. Edward Hallowell called it "spellbinding" and "brilliant."
- The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game, 2015
- The Kevin Show: An Olympic Athlete's Battle with Mental Illness, 2018
- Pilon, Mary (28 January 2015). "Carolina Kostner and the Fight Against Doping". The New Yorker. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- "Mary Pilon". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- "Recent and archived work by Mary Pilon for The New York Times". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- "About Us: Mary Pilon, Adjunct Faculty". NYU Arts & Sciences: NYU Journalism.
- "Episode #361: Chapman & Maclain Way, Mary Pilon, Ahmed Bharoocha, Raley Schweinfurth, and Ron Artis II & The Truth". Live Wire! Radio. 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- O`Meara, Brendan. "Episode 90—Mary Pilon Brings You "The Kevin Show"". BreandanOMeara.com. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- Pilon. "I Found a Dead Body on My Morning Run—It's Something You Can't Run Away From". runnersworld.com. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- "Winners". EdwinDiamond.com. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- "NYC Guide to Restaurants, Fashion, Nightlife, Shopping, Politics, Movies". Retrieved 14 June 2018.
- "Mary Pilon Reporter: The Wall Street Journal". wsj.com. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- "Loeb Award Winners". UCLA Anderson School of Management. 28 June 2011. Archived from the original on 1 April 2019. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
- "Contributors: Mary Pilon". Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- Scanlan, Chip (24 October 2013). "Cage fighter's faked death gives life to rich NYT storytelling". Poynter.org.
- Pilon, Mary; Futaki, Attila (2013). "Tomato Can Blues". nytimes.com.
- Pilon (11 April 2015). "The secret history of Monopoly: the capitalist board game's leftwing origins". theguardian.com.
- NYT Bestseller List, New York Times, 22 March 2015.
- "100 Notable Books of 2015". NY Times Book Review. 27 November 2015.
- Talese, Gay, book jacket, The Monopolists, 17 February 2015.
- Jeopardy! (22 October 2015). "Want to know more about yesterday's clue on #Monopoly? It was based on a concept by Elizabeth Magie". Twitter.
- Fleming, Jr., Mike (27 October 2015). "Big Beach Mounts 'Monopolists:' Howard Rodman To Script Board Game Drama". Deadline.com.
- "Little Miss Sunshine (2006)". Retrieved 14 June 2018 – via www.imdb.com.
- Pilon (11 July 2017). "Surviving the Long Haul:For women in the trucking industry, going to work can mean subjecting themselves to catcalling, harassment, rape, and a system built to keep them out". The Investigative Fund.
- Pilon (23 January 2018). "Amid Allegations of Sexual Harassment in Trucking Industry, Investigative Fund Pushes to Have Documents Unsealed". The Investigative Fund.
- Pilon (31 January 2017). "Inside the NFL's Domestic Violence Punishment Problem". The Bleacher Report.
- Pilon (29 May 2015). "Steve Prefontaine's Last Run". Grantland.com.
- Pilon (24 June 2016). "Donald Trump`s Immigrant Mother". NewYorker.com.
- "Mary Pilon". Vice.com. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- Pilon (7 May 2017). ""I'm Fucking Weird": How Royce White Became the Most Important Basketball Player Alive". Esquire.com.
- Pilon, Mary; Lehren, Andrew W.; Gosk, Stephanie; Siegel, Emily R.; Abou-Sabe, Kenzi (6 February 2018). "Think Olympic figure skating judges are biased? The data says they might be". nbcnews.com.
- "Riders struggle with unfamiliar horses". NBC Olympics. 20 August 2016.
- "Kerri Walsh Jennings reflects on journey with new partner". NBC Olympics. 8 August 2016.
- Pilon (28 January 2015). "Using Google Glass, Elementary Students Learn How Blind People Live". Fast Company. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- Pilon (January 2015). "Monopoly Was Designed to Teach the 99% About Income Inequality". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- Pilon. "The Last of the Typewriter Men". medium.com. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- Chung, Evan (15 March 2018). "Arts: Kevin Hall stars in his own unreality show".
- "The Kevin Show: An Olympic Athlete's Battle with Mental Illness". Bloomsbury website. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- Amazon.com, Mental Health category, 26 March 2018
- trombetta, Sadie (25 January 2018). "10 New Books About Mental Illness To Read in 2018".
- "The Kevin Show: Love, Mania, and the Olympics". Publisher`s Weekly. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- "The Kevin Show: Love, Mania, and the Olympics". Kirkus Reviews. 26 November 2017.
- Hallowell, Ed, book jacket, The Kevin Show, 6 March 2018.
- Baker, Mark (16 February 2015). "Pass go and keep going". The Register-Guard. Retrieved 24 February 2015.