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About the Author: David Corcoran '69

David Corcoran

Current Home:
Nyack, NY

Place of Birth:
New York, NY

B.A., Amherst, 1969; Professional Journalism Fellow, Stanford University, 1977.

Why did you choose to come to Amherst?
Its commanding reputation and the beauty of the campus (my interview was on October 15th).

Most memorable or most influential class at Amherst:
English 1-2, freshman year, gave me confidence as a writer and reader, and steered me into English as a major.

Most memorable or most influential professor:
William Pritchard

Research Interests?
History of news and journalism; Hudson Valley history.

Awards and Prizes
Science Times, which I edited, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2014 for Dennis Overbye's "Chasing the Higgs Boson." In 1977-87, the editorial pages of The Record, which I edited, won the New Jersey Press Association award for excellence every year.

Favorite Book
The Collected Essays, Letters and Journalism of George Orwell

Favorite Author

Tips for aspiring writers?
Keep at it, and try to find at least one editor who will give you regular feedback.

Tell us a bit about how you came to write this book:
From the age of 10 or so, I knew I wanted to write for newspapers. The idea that my own work would appear on thousands of doorsteps, the very next day after I wrote it, was irresistible. By the time I was in college, I had a part-time job on my local paper and my ambition was to write for The New York Times. In my early career, I was a local reporter in New Jersey; I graduated to writing editorials and then editing the editorial page. In 26 years at The Times, I was mainly an editor but also did some writing, notably more than 250 restaurant reviews for the paper's New Jersey section. The New York Times Book of Science is the fourth in a series from Sterling Publishing, but the first one I've edited.

David Corcoran is the former editor of Science Times, The New York Times's weekly science section. He joined The Times in September 1988 and worked in a variety of positions before his retirement in December 2014, including education editor, deputy graphics director, deputy New Jersey editor, deputy Op-Ed editor, and national editor for weekend news. In 2001 he edited The Times's special 150th-anniversary issue, "From the Newspaper Age to the Information Age."

He came to The Times after a 19-year career at The Record, then in Hackensack, N.J., where he was chief news editor and, before that, editor of the editorial pages. In 1976-77 he was a journalism fellow at Stanford University.

Mr. Corcoran recently edited The New York Times Book of Science, a compilation of 125 science articles from the Times archives.

Born in New York City, he grew up in Nyack, N.Y., graduated with a B.A. in English from Amherst College and taught English at Rockland Country Day School in Congers, N.Y., before joining The Record.

As a writer, he reviewed restaurants in New Jersey from 2000 to 2010 for the Sunday Times. His poetry has been published in Podium and the 10th anniversary issue of Barrow Street.