Gary Cole began his paper route for the Chicago Tribune in 1968, at the age of eight.  Within weeks after he started his route, Martin Luther King was assassinated. As a young boy growing up in a tranquil suburb who had not previously been exposed to the news, he was stunned by the ensuing explosion of events that made the headlines of the Tribune:  riots across the country, the shooting of Robert Kennedy, and the chaos of the Democratic National Convention, among others.

Newsboy is a captivating chronicle of a child’s efforts to come to grips with the momentous stories he tracks in the Tribune through this turbulent period, including the collapse of the 1969 Cubs, the Chicago Seven trial, and notorious Illinois corruption scandals. The memoir is also an intimate portrayal of his route and customers, in particular the elderly residents of the Chimney Apartments (pictured below), from a bygone era when paperboys came to the door of each subscriber both to deliver and to collect.

The Chimney Apartments

Praise for Newsboy

"Like a bike ride through a turbulent, unsettling, yet beautiful landscape, Cole's deceptively simple tale of a kid delivering newspapers on his trusty Schwinn is so much more than what it at first appears.  In clear and concise language the tale propels us through the awakening of a happy but innocent and unworldly boy to the cultural changes occurring around him.  The world is exploding, and, as the newsboy learns, so is he.  The print he delivers--and reads in wonder--and the people he meets and listens to on his route become the education of a lifetime.  By the end of Newsboy you'll marvel that this kid has taught you so much.  I loved this book.''

Rick Telander, Sports Columnist, Chicago Sun-Times

"Gary Cole has a gift for evocative and telling detail and … for illuminating the perspective of a curious child and young teenager with the insights of a thoughtful adult.  [Newsboy is] an absorbing read.”

Nell Minow, Author and Editor at

"I thoroughly enjoyed Newsboy! Very well written and a trip down memory lane for anyone who grew up during the volatile 1960's and 1970's, and particularly for those of us raised in the Chicagoland area.”

Bob Dearborn, Winnetka, IL