Bob Gallagher is a former freelance sports writer, who now works for the Fairfax County Public Library. His articles have appeared in The Washington Post, Baseball Digest, the Redskins Report and the old Washington Star. He is the author of Ernie Davis: The Elmira Express.
He grew up in the suburbs of Virginia admiring Ernie Davis of Syracuse University, the first black college pro to win the Heisman Trophy. Davis was drafted by the Cleveland Browns, but died at the age of 23 from leukemia before he could play professional football.
Gallagher attended Davis’ alma mater, Syracuse University, a few years after the player’s death and heard a lot about him. Years later, he decided to write a book. He interviewed Davis’ mother, father, fellow college teammates, etc. The book was first published in 1983; a new edition appeared in 1999.
Hollywood optioned the book and it has finally made it into production. The movie “The Express” is slated to be released in 2009. The film will be directed by Gary Fleder, who also directed “Runaway Jury” and “Blind Justice.” One of the stars is Dennis Quaid.