Philip Caputo

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Philip Caputo
Phil Caputo.jpg
Philip Caputo, 2013 • Photo by Rob O'Neal
Born (1941-06-10) June 10, 1941 (age 75)
Westchester, Illinois
Alma mater Loyola University Chicago
Occupation Author, journalist

Philip Caputo (born June 10, 1941) is an American author and journalist. He is best known for A Rumor of War, a best-selling memoir of his experiences during the Vietnam War. Caputo has written 15 books, including two memoirs, five books of general nonfiction, and eight novels. His latest, the nonfiction travel/adventure book The Longest Road: Overland In Search of America from Key West to the Arctic Ocean, was published in July 2013 by Henry Holt.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Philip Caputo was born in Westchester, Illinois and attended Fenwick High School and Loyola University Chicago. From 1965–1966 Caputo served in the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) as an infantry lieutenant (platoon commander) in the United States Marine Corps. Caputo served in combat and earned several medals and awards upon completion of his tour of duty.

After serving three years in the Corps, Caputo began a career in journalism, joining the staff of the Chicago Tribune in 1968. In 1973, Caputo was part of a writing team that won the Pulitzer Prize for reporting on election fraud in Chicago. For the next five years, he was a foreign correspondent for the Tribune. He covered the fall of Saigon in 1975, and he served in Italy, the Soviet Union and the Middle East.[2] He was shot and wounded in the feet by a militiaman with an AK-47 during the Battle of the Hotels in Lebanon in 1975.[3][4]

Books and articles[edit]

Philip Caputo's acclaimed memoir of Vietnam, A Rumor of War, has been published in 15 languages, has sold two million copies since its publication in 1977, and is widely regarded as a classic in the literature of war. The book was made into a two-part TV movie starring Brad Davis, Keith Carradine, Brian Dennehy, and Michael O'Keefe in 1980.[5]

Caputo's most recent novel, Crossers (2009) was set against a backdrop of drug and illegal-immigrant smuggling on the Mexican border.[6] His 15th book, the nonfiction travel/adventure book The Longest Road: Overland In Search of America from Key West to the Arctic Ocean is to be published in July 2013 by Henry Holt.[7] See full bibliography below.

In addition to books, Caputo has published dozens of major magazine articles, reviews, and op-ed pieces in publications ranging from The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post to Esquire, National Geographic, and the Virginia Quarterly Review.[8]

Lecturing and television[edit]

Caputo has lectured at approximately 20 universities and prep schools around the country, has been a featured speaker for the National Book Committee, the American Library Association, and the American Publishers Association, and a participant at the Key West Literary Seminar, the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, the Chicago Humanities Festival, and the Cheltenham Literary Festival in Cheltenham, England. He has also worked as a screenwriter for Paramount Pictures and Michael Douglas Productions. He has been a guest on the Charlie Rose Show and the Today Show, and has narrated or appeared in several TV documentaries on the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and other subjects.[9]

Prizes and awards[edit]

In March 1965, Marine Lieutenant Philip J. Caputo landed at Da Nang with the first ground combat unit deployed to Vietnam where he served for sixteen months. He published a memoir, A Rumor of War, in 1977.



The Longest Road (2013)

Means of Escape[10] (1991) ISBN 0060183128 OCLC 23732376

A Rumor of War (1977) ISBN 003017631X OCLC 2974701


Crossers (2009)

Acts of Faith (2005) ISBN 0375411666

The Voyage (1999)

Exiles (1997)

Equation for Evil (1996)

Indian Country (1987)

Delcorso's Gallery (1983)

Horn of Africa (1980)

General Nonfiction[edit]

Ten Thousand Days of Thunder (2005)

13 Seconds: A Look Back At the Kent State Shootings (2005) ISBN 1596090804

In the Shadows of the Morning (2002)

Ghosts of Tsavo (2002)


A Rumor of War: Miniseries


  1. ^ World Archipelago. "Philip Caputo". Macmillan. 
  2. ^ "About Phil". Philip Caputo. 
  3. ^ "To save lives, shrink gun magazines". Washington Post. 
  4. ^ Pierre Tristam. "Beirut's St. Georges Hotel, Still Trying to Slay Dragons". About. 
  5. ^ A Rumor of War miniseries [1],
  6. ^ "Crossers". Philip Caputo. 
  7. ^ World Archipelago. "Philip Caputo". Macmillan. 
  8. ^ "Selected Articles". Philip Caputo. 
  9. ^ "About Phil". Philip Caputo. 
  10. ^ "All Books". Philip Caputo. 

External links[edit]