Jules Tygiel was born in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn on March 9, 1949. He graduated from Brooklyn College with a B.A. in 1969, and went on to receive his M.A. and Ph.D. in history from U.C.L.A. After teaching at the University of Tennessee and the University of Virginia, Tygiel spent thirty years as a professor of American history at San Francisco State University. Known for his baseball scholarship, Tygiel wrote many books on Jackie Robinson and the history of the sport. His best-known work, "Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy," was ranked by Sports Illustrated in 2002 as the fiftieth best sports book of all time. Tygiel contributed to numerous baseball documentaries and appeared on national television and radio shows including Good Morning America, NBC Baseball, PBS, Talk of the Nation, and Fresh Air. He also published articles in journals, magazines, and newspapers such as the Journal of Sport History, Baseball Research Journal, American Heritage, and the Los Angeles Times. Tygiel's books on subjects other than baseball include "The Great Los Angeles Swindle: Oil, Stocks and Scandal in the Roaring Twenties" and "Ronald Reagan and the Rise of American Conservatism." Tygiel married Luise Custer in 1982 and had two sons.