Jack Hitt

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Jack Hitt
Jack Hitt 2013.jpg
Born1957
Charleston, South Carolina
OccupationAuthor, editor, journalist
LanguageEnglish
NationalityAmerican
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materThe University of The South
Notable awardsLivingston Award, two Peabody Awards
SpouseLisa Sanders
Children2

Jack Hitt is an American author. He has been a contributing editor to Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, This American Life, and the now-defunct magazine Lingua Franca. His work has appeared in such publications as Outside Magazine, Rolling Stone, Wired, Mother Jones, Slate, and Garden & Gun.

In 1990, he received the Livingston Award, along with Paul Tough, for an article they wrote about computer hackers that was published in Esquire. Jack has written and edited multiple books, and has had articles selected for inclusion in Best American Science Writing 2006, Best American Travel Writing 2005, and in Ira Glass's The New Kings of Nonfiction (2007). In 2006, an episode of This American Life that Jack contributed to called "Habeus Schmabeus" won a Peabody Award. Hitt also co-hosted the Gimlet Media Podcast Uncivil along with Chenjerai Kumanyiki between 2017 and 2018. Uncivil won a Peabody award in 2017 for the episode titled "The Raid".

Biography[edit]

Personal life[edit]

John T. L. "Jack" Hitt was born in 1957 in Charleston, South Carolina to Ann Leonard Hitt and Robert Hitt Jr.[1][2] He was the youngest of five children.[1] He was raised in Charleston and attended the Porter-Gaud School.[3][4][2] At Porter-Gaude, Hitt got his start in writing by contributing to and editing the school's literary magazine.[5] While growing up in Charleston, Hitt lived in the same neighborhood as Dawn Langley Simmons who would receive one of the first sex reassignment surgeries in the United States.[6][7]

Hitt attended the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee where he majored in comparative literature.[8] As an undergrad, he worked at the Learning Disabilities Center and taught math and English to teens and children.[8] He also tutored Latin.[8] He was president of the Spanish House and a member of the Spanish Honor Society.[8]

It was at Sewanee that Hitt first heard about the road to Santiago de Campostela.[9] He would write about the experience of walking the road in his first book, Off The Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim's route into Spain.[10][9]

Hitt graduated from the University of the South in 1979.[9]

"I was nearly a Latin professor", said Hitt in an interview with The Atlantic. "Upon graduation, my Classics teacher warned me that while I'd read the hundred or so greatest works of Latin literature, post-graduate work meant reading the 1,000 'eh' works of Latin literature...I seized my diploma and I've never translated a line of Latin since."[11]

Hitt lived in an apartment in New York City for about 8 years[12] before he met and married his current wife Lisa Sanders in the late 1980s.[13][12] They live together in New Haven, Connecticut[2] and have two daughters.[14]

Jack Hitt's older brother Robert M. Hitt III[1] served as Secretary of Commerce for the state of South Carolina from January 2011 to June 2021.[15][16]

Writing and journalism career[edit]

Jack Hitt, Mark Edward New Haven Connecticut, November 2013

Hitt has been a contributing editor to Harper's,[17] The New York Times Magazine,[17] This American Life,[17] and Lingua Franca.[18][19] He has also had articles published in Mother Jones,[20] Slate,[21] the Smithsonian,[22] Discover Magazine,[23] Rolling Stone,[24] GQ,[7] Wired,[25] Garden & Gun,[17] and Outside Magazine.[26]

Julie Snyder, Jack Hitt, Ira Glass and Torey Malatia accept the Peabody Award, June 2007

Hitt's New York Times Magazine piece about a dying language called "Say No More"[27] was selected for inclusion in The Best American Travel Writing 2005.[28] A piece originally published in Harper's titled "Mighty White of You: Racial Preferences Color America's Oldest Skulls and Bones"[29] was selected for inclusion in Best American Science Writing 2006.[30] Another piece from Harper's titled "Toxic Dreams: A California Town Finds Meaning in an Acid Pit",[31] was included in Ira Glass's The New Kings of Nonfiction (2007).[32]

Jack Hitt and Paul Tough won a Livingston award for an article published in Esquire they wrote about Hackers titled "Terminal Delinquents."[33][34][35]

Since 1996, Hitt has also been a contributing editor to the radio series This American Life.[36] Showrunner Ira Glass wrote an announcement for Hitt's show that included a listing of what he considered to be stand out episodes of This American Life that Hitt had contributed to.[37] That list included: "Fiasco," a story about a production of Peter Pan gone wrong;[38] "The Super," a story about a superintendent Hitt had in New York City who was a former member of a Brazilian death squad;[12] "Dawn," a story about his Charleston neighbor Dawn Langley Simmons (an early recipient of sex reassignment surgery);[6] "The Middle of Nowhere," a story about the small pacific island of Nauru;[39] and "Habeas Schmabeas," a story that contained multiple interviews with prisoners who had served time at Guantanamo Bay.[40][41]

This American Life won a Peabody Award in 2006 for "Habeas Schmabeas."[41]

Between 2017 and 2018, Hitt co-hosted the Gimlet Media podcast Uncivil along with Chenjerai Kumanyika.[42] The episode of Uncivil titled "The Raid" won a Peabody award in 2017.[43]

Hitt was a regular US correspondent on Nine to Noon, hosted by Kathryn Ryan on Radio New Zealand National.[44]

In 2012, Hitt was interviewed on The Colbert Report about his novel Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character.[45]

Between 2012 and 2013, Hitt performed a one-man show he wrote about his childhood and the outlandish characters he's met in his life called Making Up The Truth.[46][47]

Film[edit]

Jack Hitt and Paul Tough are both listed as consultants for the movie Hackers (1995).[48]

Parts of Hitt's novel Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim’s Route into Spain were reworked by Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen into the movie The Way.[14][49][11]

Hit was interviewed for two documentaries; Split: A Divided America (2008)[50] and for Tower to the People (2015).[51]

Books[edit]

Written by Jack Hitt

  • In a Word: A Dictionary of Words That Don't Exist, But Ought To (1992) ISBN 0-440-50358-2
  • Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim’s Route into Spain (1994) ISBN 9780743261111
  • Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character (2012) ISBN 0-307-39375-5

Edited by Jack Hitt

Article by Jack Hitt selected for inclusion

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Ann Leonard Hitt Obituary".
  2. ^ a b c "Give the People What They Want". This American Life. Episode 216. July 12, 2022. Transcript. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  3. ^ Thompson, Bill (May 19, 2012). "Search for the American Character Hitt celebrates amateur achievement". The Post And Courier. Archived from the original on July 4, 2018.
  4. ^ MClough, Mathew (April 4, 2022). "Introducing Holy City How-To, a newsletter guide for new Charleston residents, visitors". The Post And Courier. Archived from the original on April 28, 2022.
  5. ^ "Jack Hitt (b.1957)". W. W. Norton & Company. Archived from the original on July 9, 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Dawn". This American Life. Season 1. Episode 15. February 28, 1996. Transcript. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  7. ^ a b Hitt, Jack (October 1998). "The Legend of Dawn". GQ.
  8. ^ a b c d "Jack Hitt: Big Houses". University of the South. December 1978. p. 10.
  9. ^ a b c Bradford, Robert (July 1995). "The Walk of Life". University of the South. pp. 16–19.
  10. ^ Hitt, Jack (September 1, 1994). Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim’s Route into Spain. Simon Shuster. ISBN 9780743261111.
  11. ^ a b Fromson, Daniel (March 9, 2011). "A Conversation With Jack Hitt, Journalist and Storyteller". Archived from the original on September 25, 2020.
  12. ^ a b c "The Super". This American Life. Episode 323. January 5, 2007. Transcript. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  13. ^ Max, Jill (Spring 2008). "A doctor's passion for medical storytelling". Yale Medicine. Vol. 42, no. 3. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  14. ^ a b Hitt, Jack (April 17, 2013). "Hiking Through History, With Your Daughters". The New York Times.
  15. ^ Waldrop, Melinda (June 17, 2021). "S.C. Commerce secretary nominee brings business-focused background". Columbia Regional Business Report. Archived from the original on July 17, 2022.
  16. ^ "Gov. Henry McMaster Nominates Harry M. Lightsey III to be the Next Secretary of SC Department of Commerce". South Carolina Office of the Governor. June 17, 2021. Archived from the original on April 19, 2022.
  17. ^ a b c d "Jack Hitt: About the Author". Penguin Random House. Archived from the original on July 29, 2022.
  18. ^ Rosenbaum, Ron (November 12, 2001). "Lamentations, Poor Lingua Franca, An Orphan of the Academic Storm". Observer. Archived from the original on July 19, 2022.
  19. ^ "About: Staff Listing". Lingua Franka. Archived from the original on June 17, 2022.
  20. ^ "Jack Hitt". Mother Jones. Archived from the original on July 30, 2021.
  21. ^ "Jack Hitt". Slate. Archived from the original on July 9, 2022.
  22. ^ "Jack Hitt". Smithsonian Magazine. Archived from the original on July 9, 2022.
  23. ^ "Jack Hitt". Discover Magazine. Archived from the original on July 9, 2022.
  24. ^ Hitt, Jack (September 26, 2007). "The Shield". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 15, 2007.
  25. ^ Hitt, Jack (August 13, 2020). "One IT Guy's Spreadsheet-Fueled Race to Restore Voting Rights". Wired. Archived from the original on July 10, 2022.
  26. ^ "Jack Hitt". Outside Magazine. Archived from the original on July 29, 2021.
  27. ^ a b "Say No More". The New York Times Magazine. February 29, 2004.
  28. ^ Kincaid, Jamaica (ed.). The Best American Travel Writing 2005. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 9780618369515.
  29. ^ a b "Mighty White of You: Racial Preferences Color America's Oldest Skulls and Bones". Harper's Magazine. July 1, 2005.
  30. ^ Gawande, Atul (ed.). The Best Science Writing 2006. Ecco. ISBN 978-0060726447.
  31. ^ a b Hitt, Jack (July 1, 1995). "Toxic Dreams: A California Town Finds Meaning in An Acid Pit". Harper's Magazine.
  32. ^ Glass, Ira, ed. (2007). The New Kings of Nonfiction (First ed.). Riverhead Books. ISBN 978-1594482670.
  33. ^ "Livingston Awards – Past Winners". Livingston Awards. Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
  34. ^ Zernike (June 7, 1991). "Winners Are Selected For Livingston Awards". The New York Times. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
  35. ^ Hitt, Jack; Tough, Paul (December 1, 1990). "Terminal Delinquents". Esquire.
  36. ^ Barnett, Erica C. (March 16, 2012). "This American Life Contribute Jack Hitt on "Making Up The Truth"". Seattle Met. Archived from the original on July 20, 2022.
  37. ^ Glass, Ira (May 24, 2011). "Contributor Jack Hitt - on stage in NYC". This American Life. Archived from the original on July 23, 2022.
  38. ^ "Fiasco (1997)". This American Life. Episode 60. April 25, 1997. Transcript. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  39. ^ "The Middle of Nowhere". This American Life. Episode 253. December 5, 2003. Transcript. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  40. ^ "Habeas Schambeas". This American Life. Episode 312. March 10, 2006. Transcript. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  41. ^ a b "This American Life: "Habeas Schmabeas"". Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  42. ^ "Uncivil". Uncivil.
  43. ^ "Uncivil: The Raid". Peabody. Archived from the original on July 9, 2022.
  44. ^ "Search Nine To Noon". Archived from the original on July 9, 2022.
  45. ^ "Jack Hitt". The Colbert Report. Season 8. May 31, 2012. Comedy Central.
  46. ^ "Making Up The Truth". The Jack Hitt Play. Archived from the original on June 25, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  47. ^ Ashe, Bertram D. (December 24, 2019). Slavary and the Post-Black Imagination. Univeristy of Washington Press. ISBN 9780295746654.
  48. ^ "Hackers". Fandango. Archived from the original on July 24, 2022.
  49. ^ Honeycutt, Kirk (October 14, 2010). "The Way: Film Review". Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 17, 2022.
  50. ^ Kelly Nyks (Director) (April 1, 2007). Split: A Divided America (Motion picture). Los Angeles, California: PF Pictures.
  51. ^ Joseph Sikorski (editor) (October 4, 2015). Tower to the People [Tesla's Dream at Wardenclyffe Continues] (Motion picture). New York: Fragments from Olympus.

External links[edit]