Neal Thompson

Thanks for visiting my little slice of the web. I'm the author of Kickflip Boys: A Memoir of Freedom, Rebellion, and the Chaos of Fatherhood, which goes on sale May 15, 2018. I've written four other books -- biographies and narrative nonfiction -- and have blabbed about those on ESPN, the History Channel, PBS, C-Span, Fox, TNT, and NPR, plus a fun five minutes on The Daily Show.

As a journalist, over the years I've written for OutsideEsquireBackpacker, Men's HealthSports Illustrated, Seattle Metthe Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. I spent a dozen years as a reporter at the Baltimore SunSt. Petersburg TimesBergen RecordRoanoke Times, and Philadelphia Inquirer. I taught creative non-fiction at the University of North Carolina’s Great Smokies Writing Program, and served on the board of Seattle Arts & Lectures. I'm a runner, reader, skier, stand-up paddleboarder, yogi, and a fan of brown liquor. I'm a naturalized Irish citizen, a mediocre guitar player. I'm from New Jersey. 

As a journalist and author, I’ve mostly written about flawed and adventurous men – athletes and explorers, astronauts and bootleggers, warriors and risk-takers. And now: skateboarders. My goal has been to tell inspiring stories that capture the aspirations and warts-and-all imperfections of those trying to live big lives, especially those who overcome hurdles, hardships, and setbacks. I think "hero" is an overused word. I prefer the term striver



"A gifted, straightforward storyteller" -The Washington Post

"The prose crackles." -The Kansas City Star

"Deliriously entertaining" -Megan Abbott

“Thompson has attitude, curiosity and affection..." -The Chicago Sun-Times

"Writes with eloquent grace." -The Indianapolis Star  

"Neal Thompson has a nose for the strange and wonderful." -Stewart O'Nan  

"He is a grand storyteller and does his homework.” -The Boston Herald

"Displays all the skill of a seasoned journalist in his pacing and savvy storytelling..." -Kirkus







(photos by Beowulf Sheehan)