Jon Wertheim
Jon Wertheim>ARCHIVE

L. Jon Wertheim, both the executive editor and a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, is one of the most accomplished sports journalists in America. His work has been cited in The Best American Sports Writing anthology numerous times as well as The Best American Crime Writing. He is the author of seven highly-praised books: Strokes of Genius: Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played (2009, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); Blood in the Cage: Mixed Martial Arts, Pat Miletich, and the Furious Rise of the UFC (2009, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); Running the Table: The Legend of Kid Delicious, the Last Great American Pool Hustler (2008, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); Transition Game: How Hoosiers Went Hip-Hop (2006, Riverhead Trade); Venus Envy: A Sensational Season Inside the Women's Tennis Tour (2001, HarperCollins); and the Foul Lines: A Pro Basketball Novel co-written with Jack McCallum (2006, Touchstone). His seventh book, Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won—co-written with University of Chicago finance professor Tobias Moskowitz—used economic principles to explain sports. It came out in January 2011 and was a New York Times bestseller. He is currently working on a book with sportscaster, Al Michaels.

Wertheim joined Sports Illustrated in 1996 and quickly became one of the magazine's most authoritative voices on tennis, the NBA, sports business and law and social issues. He has written some of the magazine's most memorable pieces. One of the chief investigative writers and reporters for Sports Illustrated, Wertheim has explored wide-ranging subject matters, from high school hazing to performance-enhancing drugs and steroids in sports. His weekly Tennis Mailbag on is considered must reading among tennis aficionados. He also speaks about sports business issues on college campuses and for corporate audiences.

A native of Bloomington, IN, where his late father was a distinguished English professor at Indiana University, Wertheim cites past and present SI writers Frank Deford, Curry Kirkpatrick, Jack McCallum and Steve Rushin as sportswriting inspirations. He is also an admirer of John Updike and David Foster Wallace, as well as Martin Amis, Simon Barnes, and John McPhee.

Wertheim is 1993 graduate of Yale University and received a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. He resides in New York City with his wife Ellie, a divorce mediator and family lawyer. The couple has a son and daughter. Asked what he considers his favorite sport to cover, Wertheim says he is partial to tennis. "It's a beautiful sport between the lines," he says, "a mixed gendered and international cast, and a bottomlessly rich subject material."


  • Favorite SI Vault story: On Guard and Quite in Control (April 28, 1986) "It's a Gary Smith piece on Ivan Lendl—the gold standard for profile writing with a difficult subject."
  • Hobbies "Reading, travel, screenwriting, and history."
  • Favorite non-sports websites: "Let's just say if newspaper websites ever got smart and started charging for page views, I'd be in trouble. The Guardian (UK) is a particular favorite."
  • Favorite book: "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace."
  • Hidden talent: "I can teach any kid to ride a bicycle in 15 minutes."
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