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.

Copies of Newsboy are available for purchase from the Book Stall on Chicago’s North Shore. Copies are also on sale at The Book Cellar in Chicago’s Lincoln Square and The Lake Forest Book Store.

The Chimney Apartments

NEWSBOY  In The Media

Gary Cole’s ‘Newsboy’ Waxes Nostalgic About Winnetka in the ’60s and ’70s

          -- The Record North Shore

A Childhood Spent Delivering Newspapers Around Winnetka Inspired Author's Latest Book

          -- Chicago Tribune / Pioneer Press

Author Gary Cole’s new book 'Newsboy: Along My Route in Chicagoland 1968-1975'

          -- After Hours with Rick Kogan

Big Wheel

          -- David A. F. Sweet for Classic Chicago Magazine

Newsboy: Winnetkan Remembers Delivering Tribune

          -- Winnetka Historical Society Gazette

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

"Terrific book."

Rick Kogan, Columnist, Chicago Tribune

[S]omething truly special – a wholly compelling story that everyone can relate to but only one person could ever tell ... Newsboy is an intimate and unvarnished chronicle of that moment you begin to understand that the world doesn’t stop at your doorstep; rather if you’re lucky enough to have your city’s paper of record delivered to that doorstep (or in Cole’s case to be that deliverer), it’s actually where community, critical thinking, outrage, empathy, and your place in the broader world begins. Newsboy is a loving memoir depicting the collision of the real world with egoistic youth. That moment you realize that the bubble you live in is just that: a fragile, temporary, and translucent veil between you and all things unsafe, unfair, and unexamined.”

Mike Kelley, Television Writer & Producer

"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

"What do I and Gary Cole have in common with Walt Disney, Warren Buffett, Martin Luther King, and Joe Biden? We were all newspaper boys. Delivering newspapers was, for many of us , our first job…but it had an aura about it that suggested it was something more. Delivering the news was a responsibility not to be taken lightly. It was also an education. Scanning each day’s headlines and stories was the first order of business as the wrapped bundles were opened. But it wasn’t all business. Quirky customers, pranks, and “happenings” created a wealth of stories…some funny and some not. Cole’s evocative memoir, Newsboy, is not merely a sentimental look back at a now almost forgotten role. Nor is it simply a compilation of human interest stories told “from the front.” Woven through the narrative is a recognition of the factors that would impact these young men throughout their lives. Is it any wonder that so many famous and powerful men credit their success to their early days as newsboys?"

 Jon Grand, The Book Stall (Winnetka, IL)

"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