Born in Moscow, Russia, Koppett came to the United States at age five and grew up one block from Yankee Stadium. His sportswriting career began with the New York Herald-Tribune in 1948. In 1954, he moved to the Post and in 1963 the Times. In 1975, Koppett left daily sportswriting to live in Palo Alto, California. In addition to many magazine articles, he wrote Thinking Man’s Guide to Baseball in 1967.