This former daily newspaper reporter and weekly newspaper editor combined his love of journalism and baseball with his interest in Native Americans to write the biography of Penobscot Indian Louis Sockalexis, first-known Native American to play professional baseball. His book Baseball’s First Indian , Louis Sockalexis: Penobscot Legend , Cleveland Indian was published in 2003 by Tide-mark Press of East Windsor, Conn.
In 2008, he published Native Trailblazer, Andrew Sockalexis: Penobscot Indian who followed the Maine running path to glory and tragedy (BookSurge), a biography of Louis’s second cousin, who took 2nd place in the Boston Marathon in both 1912 and 1913 and was 4th place finisher in the marathon at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm.
In 2013, Rice donated all his Sockalexis papers to the Maine State Library and Museum.
An avid long distance runner, who ran and completed 27 marathons (including 8 Boston Marathons), he created one of Maine’s first annual charity road races, Bangor’s popular Terry Fox 5-K Run in 1982. He directed this run for over 20 years, an event that raised over $125,000 for local cancer research in Maine. In 1997 he ran across the state of Massachusetts (162 miles in 7 days) in support of a friend, the late Ginny DelVecchio who was dying of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He co-founded, with Ginny and her husband Paul, a research fund called The Angel Fund, which today is a multi-million dollar enterprise in the greater Boston area attempting to find a cure for this insidious disease.
In 2005, The Angel Fund released a book edited by Rice entitled If They Could Only Hear Me, a collection of 30 personal essays (including one by Rice) that describe the many ways people have taken up the fight against ALS.
His new book, Robin Emery: 50 Years of Flying in Running Shoes , was published by Down East Books in February, 2019.
In November of 2018, he was inducted into the Maine Running Hall of Fame.
Born in Brookline, Mass., he grew up in Bangor. He has been an arts critic for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram , Maine Times , and Maine Public Broadcasting System’s “Maine Things Considered” on radio. He has taught journalism and communication studies at several colleges. He lives with his wife, Susan, in St Andrews by the Sea, New Brunswick.
- BASEBALL’S FIRST INDIAN, Louis Sockalexis (hard cover, 2003)
- BASEBALL’S FIRST INDIAN (paperback, 2019)
- ROBIN EMERY: Maine’s First Lady of Road Racing
- NATIVE TRAILBLAZER, Andrew Sockalexis