I decided I wanted to be a writer when I was living in Beaumont. I was a sophomore at French High School, and I wrote a paper about Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. My English teacher gave me an A and wrote in the left-hand corner: “Jimmy, you are a very good writer.” It was that, plus the fact that I wanted to be a baseball player but wasn’t very good. So at sixteen I decided I was going to be a sportswriter. Once I made that decision, I worked for the high school paper. Then we moved to San Antonio, where I attended Thomas Jefferson High School and became one of the three sports editors at the Jefferson Declaration. By my senior year, I was hooked beyond belief.

Jim Lehrer was born in Wichita, Kansas, and moved to Beaumont when he was twelve. From 1959 to 1966 he worked as a reporter at the Dallas Morning News, and he later served as the city editor at the Dallas Times Herald. He now hosts the nightly news program The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer on PBS. The author of fourteen books, Lehrer published his latest novel, The Special Prisoner (Random House), in May.