The son of Italian immigrants, Mike Rose was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania, and raised in Los Angeles, California. He was a graduate of Loyola University (B.A.), the University of Southern California (M.S.), and the University of California, Los Angeles (M.A. and Ph.D.). Over the last forty years, he taught in a range of educational settings, from kindergarten to job training and adult literacy programs, and was on the faculty of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies when he passed away in August of 2021.
Rose wrote a number of books and articles on language, literacy, and cognition and has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Grawemeyer Award in Education, and the Commonwealth Club of California Award for Literary Excellence in Nonfiction. He was also honored by the Spencer Foundation, the McDonnell Foundation Program in Cognitive Studies for Educational Practice, the National Council of Teachers of English, the Modern Language Association, and the National Academy of Education. He authored several books including Lives on the Boundary: the Struggles and Achievements of America’s Underprepared, Possible Lives: The Promise of Public Education in America, The Mind at Work: Valuing the Intelligence of the American Worker, and An Open Language: Selected Writing on Literacy, Learning, and Opportunity.