"Bill Heinz is a walking contradiction of the stereotype of the phlegmatic Teuton. He is emotional and demonstrative. He can sink into depressions so deep they would give a sandhog the bends. His highs are several stories high. As cityside reporter, war correspondent, sports columnist, freelance journalist, and novelist, he was and is a dedicated craftsman and a penetrating observer who never gives half measure.

'Bill,' his doctor once told him, 'if you don't stop trying to be the greatest writer in the world, you're going to kill yourself.'

'I'm not trying to be the greatest writer in the world,' Bill said, 'I'm only trying to be the best writer I can be.'"

Red Smith, from the introduction to Heinz's collection, American Mirror.