TONY CASTRO IS THE AUTHOR of the critically acclaimed biography Mickey Mantle: America’s Prodigal Son, which The New York Times called the best book ever written about the Yankee Hall of Fame legend.
Mantle befriended Castro in 1970 when he was a young reporter in Dallas where the recently retired switch-hitting great was living — and trying, with some surprising difficulty, to find a life for himself after baseball in an overwhelmingly football town that just happened to be home to the new “America’s team,” the Dallas Cowboys.
|Tony Castro, 1964, covering his first presidential campaign|
“The only time I saw Mickey play in person was the day the Astrodome opened in Houston,” says Castro. “But two or three times a week I wound up in a foursome playing golf with Mickey and seeing him drive balls 350 yards, sometimes more — with a wood driver, if you can imagine — and realizing that if they’d had the designated hitter back then, he could have played another two or three years.”
Castro is also the author of the landmark civil rights history Chicano Power: The Emergence of Mexican America (E.P. Dutton, 1974), which Publishers Weekly hailed as “brilliant… a valuable contribution to the understanding of our time.”
Tony is currently working on a dual biography of baseball greats Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, Gehrig and the Babe: The Friendship, The Feud, and a rite of passage memoir, The Prince of South Waco: Images and Illusions of a Youth.
A former staff writer for Sports Illustrated, Castro was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University where he did graduate work on American Studies and politics — and studied under Homeric scholar and translator Robert Fitzgerald and Mexican Nobel laureate Octavio Paz.
As a journalist, Castro was a prize-winning columnist and political writer whose work has included covering American presidential campaigns since 1964, reporting on civil wars in Central America and traveling with his Chicano activist friend Carlos Guerra to Cuba in the late 1960s where they met with Fidel Castro.
Castro’s reporting has appeared in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning News and The Texas Observer. He was a columnist at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner for the late legendary editor, Jim Bellows. Most recently, Castro reported on politics and pop culture for the Los Angeles Daily News.
A native of Waco, Texas, Castro is a graduate of Baylor University and was also a fellow at the Washington Journalism Center.
He was a founding board member of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and served as a trustee of the Greater Houston Human Relations Commission.
Castro was also formerly a board member of the Los Angeles Press Club.