Joseph Nocera's Profile Photo

Former senior editor Joe Nocera was born in Rhode Island and wrote and edited at Texas Monthly between 1982 and 1986. His October 1982 feature, “It’s Time to Make a Deal,” about T. Boone Pickens’s first big takeover attempt, was the story that launched his career as a business journalist. Nocera has written for Washington Monthly; Esquire; GQ; Fortune, where he was the editorial director; and the New York Times, where he spent time as a business columnist and an opinion columnist.

Nocera has won multiple business-writing awards and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in the commentary category in 2007. His 1994 book, A Piece of the Action: How the Middle Class Joined the Money Class, won the Helen Bernstein Book Award as the best nonfiction book of 1995. Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA, which he cowrote, won the 2017 PEN/ESPN Award for literary sports writing. He also wrote and narrated the podcast The Shrink Next Door, which won a Webby Award in 2020 and was adapted into an Apple TV+ miniseries in 2021. During Nocera’s time in Texas, sources who discovered where he was born inevitably said, “Son, we’ve got ranches bigger than Rhode Island.”

22 Articles

January 20, 2013

The Long, Lonesome Road

Fred Thomas was young, poor, and black. Not only was he afflicted with the terror of schizophrenia, he was also faced with the chaos of the Texas mental health system.

September 30, 1986

Texas Monthly Reporter

The Harris Count Administration Building isn’t big enough for both Jon Lindsay and Mike Driscoll; Ray Perryman, a reporter’s best friend; a lucky accident brought Ethiopians—and Ethiopian restaurants—to Dallas.

April 1, 1986

Texas Monthly Reporter

Will Shelby Coffey lead the Dallas Times-Herald to victory? Will Muse aficionados ever find happiness aloft again? Will Tommy Pierce keep real-estating and a-rocking?

April 1, 1984

Texas Monthly Reporter

A heated race for the Senate; a leisurely trip to Astrotown; a cool master of Dallas protocol; a steel-industry success story in Seguin.

March 1, 1984

Big Oil Paranoia

Robert Sherrill’s Oil Follies of 1979-1980 leaves no detail unremarked in its effort to pin the blame on Big Oil; in Ronnie Dugger’s On Reagan the author is as unbending an ideologue as his subject is.

News & Politics|
November 1, 1983

Fantasy Island

It’s a high-rise developer’s dream. Houston’s old guard wants to turn 34 acres of downtown warehouses into an island of classy shops and pricey condos. They thought they had it wired, until Kathy Whitmire was elected mayor.

June 30, 1983

The Gambler

Jack Young was the eighties’ oil boom in the flesh. Unfortunately, he also personifies the aftermath of the bust.

April 1, 1983

Oil Rigged

The Great Energy Scam purports to uncover the collusion of the feds and the oil companies, but the real scandal is what the author overlooks. Yet another book on killer Ted Bundy sheds no light on his crimes. Roughneck is a rousing look at America’s most radical labor union.

December 1, 1982

The Four R’s

In Corpus Christi’s schools, testing kids is as important as teaching them—which has greatly improved test scores but not the quality of public education.

October 1, 1982

“It’s Time To Make a Deal”

The inside story of Boone Pickens’ adventures in the Wall Street merger game, featuring action, suspense, drama, a few laughs, and a special guest appearance by President Ronald Reagan.

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