Pete Axthelm

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Pete Axthelm (August 27, 1943, in New York City, New York - February 2, 1991) was a sportswriter and columnist for the New York Herald Tribune, Sports Illustrated and Newsweek. During the 1980s, his knowledge of sports and journalistic skill aided him in becoming a sports commentator for The NFL on NBC and NFL Primetime and horse racing on ESPN. Axthelm died of liver failure on February 2, 1991 at the age of 47.

A graduate of Yale University, he wrote The Modern Confessional Novel while a student there. In 1970, The City Game, Basketball in New York was published. The book explored one season of the New York Knicks along with players who were legends in neighborhoods of New York but who never played professionally. He is perhaps best remembered for writing The Kid, in 1978, a biography of then eighteen-year-old Triple Crown winning jockey, Steve Cauthen.


  • The City Game, Harper's Magazine Press, New York, 1970 (ISBN 0-8032-5934-4)
  • The Modern Confessional Novel (Yale University, 1967)
  • Tennis Observed: The U.S.L.T.A. Men's Singles Champions, 1881–1966 with William F. Talbert (Barre Publishers, 1967)
  • The Kid, a portrait of the racing prodigy Steve Cauthen (Bantam, 1978)