Before he began his career as a professional writer and journalist, John U. Bacon earned what he refers to as his “pre-unemployment” degree – an honors degree in history – from the University of Michigan in 1986, and later a Master’s in Education in 1994. His first journalism job was as a lifestyle reporter for the Ann Arbor News in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 1995, Bacon became a sports feature writer for the Detroit News.
Bacon is the author of several books on sports and business, including Bo’s Lasting Lessons: The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership, which became a New York Times and Wall Street Journal business bestseller, and Three and Out: Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines in the Crucible of College Football, which debuted at #6 on the New York Times Bestseller list.
Ann Arbor locals may be familiar with Bacon from his presence on the airwaves in Michigan; he regularly provides sports commentary on Michigan Radio, WTKA (1050 AM), and NPR’s “Here & Now” with Robin Young. On the national level, he is also a contributor to content on HBO, ESPN and the Big Ten Network, and appears on ESPN, FOX Business and MSNBC.
A sought-after speaker, Bacon has delivered keynotes to financial companies like Merrill Lynch and Ameriprise, auto manufacturers like Chrysler and Subaru, and international corporations like Microsoft Brazil and Copersucar. In 2011 the Michigan chapter of Meeting Planners International named him Speaker of the Year.
Bacon is also an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, and has taught at the University of Michigan, where he won the Golden Apple Award in 2009. In 2006, he was inducted into the Ann Arbor Huron High School Hall of Fame for helping to lead the hockey team from the worst in school history to the best in three seasons.