My Father’s Heart began for Steve as a writing assignment his senior year in college at Allentown College of St. Francis De Sales in Pennsylvania in 1973. Though he surely didn’t know back then that he was beginning a book (or did he?), a few passages from that long ago homework eventually found their way wholecloth into “My Father’s Heart. Click here to see a copy of the original mimeographed (!) work sheet.

Steve next published a story about his father’s life and heart attack death on October 23, 1997. By now Steve was the sports editor of The Wall Street Journal. Really. This retelling of the night his father died appeared in a Wall Street Special Health Report.

Eight years later almost to the day, on October 10, 2005, Steve brought the story of his father full circle with another article in another Wall Street Journal Special Health Report. In this updating, Steve tells of the day he was told that he, too, has heart disease — after a lifetime spent trying to live up to the promise of never being like his father.

With the publication of “My Father’s Heart” on January 22, 2008 (one day after what would have been his fathers 89th birthday), The Wall Street Journal published an excerpt of the book on the front page of the Personal Journal section wherein Steve attempts to come to terms with his father’s addiction to smoking.

On February 19, the Washington Post followed with its own excerpt. It appeared in the Post’s Tuesday health section, this one devoted exclusively to men. This excerpt draws from many places in “My Father’s Heart” to touch on Steve’s relationship with his father and Steve’s own struggle to come to terms with his own diagnosis of heart disease.