Alan Draper grew up and went to school in New York City where he wasted his youth playing school yard basketball. He enrolled at the University of Wisconsin at Madison where he majored in both history and political science and then returned to New York to get his Ph. D. in political science at Columbia University.
Back surgery has forced him to trade in his hightop cons for the Daily Racing Form, and he now gets as much satisfaction picking a good exacta as he once did driving into the paint and laying it in.
Between races, Draper has managed to publish op-eds in the New York Times, USA Today, and other newspapers; be appointed Distinguished Fulbright Professor at the University of Innsbruck (2011); co-author The Politics of Power:An Introduction to American Politics (7th edition), The Good Society: An Introduction to Comparative Politics (3rd edition), and author A Rope of Sand: The AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education, 1955-1967 (Praeger,1989) and Conflict of Interests: Organized Labor and the Civil Rights Movement in the South, 1954-1968 (Cornell University Press,1994). The latter was recognized as an Outstanding Book on Human Rights by the Gustavas Myers Center. His latest article, "Class and Politics in the Mississippi Movement: An Analysis of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party Delegation," appears in the Journal of Southern History (May 2016).