Award-winning journalist and biographer

PAUL GRONDAHL: Times Union reporter, award-winning biographer & teacher


"When writers die they become books, which is, after all, not too bad an incarnation."
-- Jorge Luis Borges

Selected Teaching

Adjunct professor, University at Albany, College of Arts and Sciences. 2009-2014.

Writer-in-Residence. Albany Academy and Albany Academy For Girls. 2005-2013.

Rensselaerville Institute. Minds-On Workshops. 1995-2008.

New Visions. Public Communications. 1996-2010.

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Home Page

Hello everyone:

Happy New Year and best wishes for a happy, healthy and productive 2016.
At the Times Union, I'm entering my 32nd year as a reporter at the paper and I'm always trying to grow and improve as a writer and to experiment with new ventures and enterprising reporting. I was pleased to collaborate with WMHT, the public TV station, in 2015 on our heroin project, "The Dragon Lives Here," and I look forward to more collaborations with them and others in 2016.
On the book front, "Great Dogs of Albany and Beyond" was a regional best-seller and repeatedly sold out out at Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza. We sold out the entirety of its 800-copy first run in six months and went back for a second printing. It's the third successful book project to benefit our in-house charity, the Times Union Hope Fund, which sends hundreds of disadvantaged kids to summer camps and after-school programs each year. The book also generated a $5,000 gift to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.
Looking ahead to 2016, I am hoping to complete my biography of Andy Rooney, which is under contract with SUNY Press. More on that later.
I'm also wrapping up another book project, a 100th anniversary commemorative volume for The Sage Colleges.
As always, I've got other literary irons in the fire.
It's a crazy, changing, challenging time for journalists and writers. The Web and social media has made it a crowded, noisy, quarrelsome pool. But my fellow scribes and I keep swimming against the tide.
I predict that print in all forms -- newspapers, magazines and books -- will have a slight resurgence in 2016.
Each generation has to discover the enduring technologies themselves and I believe they will, when their necks grow sore and their eyes strained after staring at the pocket-sized screen of their smartphones all day.
But remember to put down your book, newspaper, tablet, iPhone, Kindle or whatever device you use and re-connect person-to-person.
The real beauty and joy and authenticity is found in human connections.
Thanks for indulging the ramblings of an old-school wordsmith.
Wishing you many happy stories ahead in 2016.

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-- Here's my link to an appreciation column I wrote after the death at 91 of legendary reporter Shirley Armstrong, who covered courts and was one of the great reporters in the annals of the Times Union. http:/​/​​local/​article/​Trailblazing-TU-reporter-Shirley-Armstrong-dies-4958906.php

-- Here's a link to my column about editing my Times Union editor, Harry Rosenfeld, and his new memoir. http:/​/​​local/​article/​Editing-my-editor-Harry-Rosenfeld-a-legend-in-4822677.php

-- Here's a link to my first-person piece of going on a bike ride with Nobel Prize-winning novelist J.M. Coetzee. It was published in the Times Union on Oct. 12, 2012.

-- Here's a link to my story chronicling the final chapter in an independent bookstore in Schenectady, the Open Door.


-- Read my obituary and appreciation of Adirondack Woodswoman Anne LaBastille in the fall 2011 edition of the Adirondack Explorer. Follow the link to read it online.


Literary Representation

Daniel Mandel
Literary Agent
Sanford J. Greenburger Associates
55 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10003
(212) 206-5600