Andrew Maraniss is one of the Wond’ry’s celebrated associates and works with the Vanderbilt Department of Athletics as well as the Vanderbilt Sports and Society Initiative. His New York Times-bestselling book, STRONG INSIDE, has been selected as the Commons Reading for first-year students for the second consecutive year.
STRONG INSIDE is the biography of Perry Wallace, who became the first African American basketball player in the Southeastern Conference, at Vanderbilt, in 1966-67. STRONG INSIDE received the Lillian Smith Book Award (for civil rights) and the RFK Book Awards’ Special Recognition Prize (for social justice), the first sports-related book ever to receive either honor. A Young Readers adaptation of STRONG INSIDE has been named one of the top 10 biographies for youth in 2017 by the American Library Association.
Prior to joining Vanderbilt, Andrew was a partner at the Nashville public relations firm of McNeely Pigott & Fox, where he worked for 18 years. Before that, he was the Media Relations Manager for Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays during the team’s inaugural season of 1998, and was the Associate Director of Media Relations at the Vanderbilt Athletic Department from 1992-97. A 1992 Vanderbilt graduate, Andrew attended the university on the Fred Russell-Grantland Rice Sportswriting scholarship, and was inducted into the Vanderbilt Student Media Hall of Fame in 2016. Andrew is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Nashville and former Board Chair of the nonprofit organization Nashville RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities).