Maybe all you need to know about Michael Davis is that his favorite Sesame Street character is Grover.
Like that stringy armed Muppet, Davis was once a not-so-hot waiter (at a snack bar within a high-rise dormitory that housed 1,200 women at Southern Illinois University). And, like Grover, he used to hang out with preschoolers (as a Head Start teacher in Dryden, New York).
Davis has diplomas from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (bachelor of arts in psychology) and Northwestern University (master’s in journalism), plus an impressive certificate from Harvard University certifying that he was a Nieman Fellow during the 1986-87 academic year. He has no idea what the Latin words mean.
Because a license is not required to practice journalism, Davis has been free to ply the art and craft at nine newspapers and magazines in seven states, working as a news reporter and editor, sports editor and columnist, feature writer, managing editor, senior editor and executive editor. Through the years he has lost as many journalism awards as he has won, and that has kept him humble and hungry. However, he is most proud of the women and men he has hired and promoted through the years. When they succeed, it makes him feel immortal.
Davis lives nearly anonymously with his wife, Debra, and their greyhound, Janie, in Yardley, Pennsylvania. His oldest daughter, Meagan, is a coordinating producer at Discovery Channel. His youngest daughter, Tyler, is a second-grade teacher in Baltimore County, Maryland.
Street Gang is his first book.
Grover has way more than that.
Michael Davis and Caroll Spinney
1. In 2000, co-wrote and edited “The 24 Secret Stars of The Simpsons,” a project in which 24 different TV Guide covers were distributed across the 50 states – a publishing record. The mark was broken -- D’oh! – when TV Guide published 35 Star Trek covers, another Davis project.
2. In 2006, moderated panels on Battlestar Galactica and Stargate Atlantis at Comic-Con in San Diego.
3. Had a one-day makeover, compliments of the boys from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. An account of the adventure ran in TV Guide.
4. In 1978, played against the Harlem Globetrotters as a member (for a night) of the New Jersey Generals.
5. Won a national contest for sports columnists in 1978 for an ode to his oft-distracted Little League team.
6. In 1983, got New York Yankees manager Billy Martin suspended for three games for inflammatory quotes that appeared in his story in theChicago Sun-Times (“Martin calls ‘stupid’ umps ‘liars’).
7. In 1975, got high-wire artist Philippe Petit to sit for an interview published in the late, great Chicago Daily News.
Don't forget to check the appearances page to see where Michael will be touring.