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Sports Illustrated senior writer Franz Lidz is the author of the memoir Unstrung Heroes and the urban historical Ghosty Men: The Strange But True Story of the Collyer Brothers. In 1995, Hollywood Pictures turned Unstrung Heroes into a feature film directed by Diane Keaton, and starring John Turturro, Andie McDowell and Michael Richards.

Inspired by the advice of Ezra Pound scholar Hugh Kenner ("You have an obligation to visit the great men of your time"), Lidz once made a pilgrimage to Gore Vidal's villa in Ravello, Italy, inveigling his way in with the line: "I'm on a world tour of the homes of everyone I've ever seen on The Merv Griffin Show." He has appeared on David Letterman's show with his pet parrots Peter Rabbit and Mrs. Falbo, unsettling the host with the observation: "Peter speaks 16 bird dialects, including loon. He's learning Waring Blender, but I can't let him get too close to ours. He thinks it's a Jacuzzi." He was a theater major at Antioch College, touring the East Coast as a singing chain-fetishist biker in the rock musical Suzie Nation and the Yellow Peril; and he only became a journalist because a graduate school professor, told him, "It's fun to be a reporter. You get to wear a sweater all day." He joined the staff of SI in 1980. His career highlights include the second descent of the Zambezi River, a globe-girdling road trip in search of sports on the equator, 10 days in dog-sledding school, a two-week trek retracing Balboa's route through the jungles of Panama, and a lengthy powwow with Don King that resulted in a 12-page meditation on the boxing promoter's hair.

Lidz lives on a six-acre farm in Pennsylvania's Brandywine Valley with two llamas (Ogar and Edgar), three Great Pyrenees (Ella, Errol and Tyrone), three cats (Yojimbo, Sanjuro and Herman), three dozen chickens and guinea fowl (don't ask), two daughters (Gogo and Daisy Daisy) and one wife (Maggie), the estate historian at the Winterthur Museum in Delaware.

 
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