His father, Nat Riccobono, and his uncles came to New York City from Sicily and made money by running shady businesses throughout New York in the late 1940s. After his father was deported and his mother died, Roberts moved from home to home until he was 16 and joined his uncles in the Mafia.
By the time Roberts was 26, in 1978, he was a practiced criminal — committing robberies and dealing cocaine in New York City; but he was getting bored. That's when he moved to Miami and started working with the Colombians, importing cocaine.
The thought of army music evokes a certain tradition — say, trumpets and drums in the style of "Pershing's Own." But that tradition was set on its ear back in the late 1960s and early '70s, when the PFCs stationed overseas formed their own pop bands. And instead of breaking them up, Army brass sent them on tour.
<p>Mark Twain's story "<a href="http://www.npr.org/books/titles/141688755/the-50-funniest-american-writers-an-anthology-of-humor-from-mark-twain-to-the-on?tab=excerpt">A Presidential Candidate</a>," in which he jokingly announces that he is running for president, kicks off Andy Borowitz's comedy collection.</p>
Credit Ernest H. Mills / Getty Images
<p>Andy Borowitz is a writer and comedian whose work has appeared in <em>The New Yorker.</em> He also runs the satirical website <a href="http://www.borowitzreport.com/">BorowitzReport.com</a>.</p>
Writer and comedian Andy Borowitz says he initially got into comedy for one simple reason: girls.
In addition to using his jokes to charm women, Borowitz has also written for The New Yorker and runs a satirical blog called The Borowitz Report. His latest project is The 50 Funniest American Writers: An Anthology of Humor from Mark Twain to The Onion.
It was almost two years ago now that Justin Timberlake, while filming The Social Network, cemented his place in the NPR collective heart by being photographed wearing our logo across his chest like a tattoo, only fabric, and temporary, and less painful. (Back then, by the way, that shirt wasn't in our shop. Now, you can have one! It's with our "best-sellers," even now.)
<p><a href="http://www.neilgaiman.com/">Neil Gaiman</a> is also the author of <em><em>Coraline</em></em><em>,</em><em> Amer<em>ican Gods</em>, <em>Anansi Boys</em>,<em>Stardust</em> </em>and<em> <em>M Is for Magic</em>. </em>He was born in Hampshire, England, and now lives near Minneapolis. You can follow him on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/neilhimself">@neilhimself</a>.</p>
Welcome to the first installment of NPR's Backseat Book Club! We've invited all of our younger listeners to join us for conversations with authors of kids' books. We kicked off the club with The Graveyard Book, a thrilling Halloween treat from Neil Gaiman that won the Newbery Medal in 2009. Gaiman loves Halloween and all the creepy fun that goes along with it.
In dramatic fashion, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Texas Rangers Thursday night to force the first game 7 in the World Series since 2002. Michele Norris talks with sportswriter Stefan Fatsis about the game and how it ranks among other thrilling World Series games of the past.
What if you could time-travel back to Memphis' Sun Studios in the 1950s? Behind the console would be none other than producer Sam Phillips. You might hear such classic songs as "My Happiness," "Crazy Arms" or "Walk the Line," originally recorded at Sun Studio by Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash, respectively.