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  • Benjamin Epstein---AKA Ben Epstein

    Born: September 28, 1907, Brooklyn, NY
    Died: August 25, 1958, New York City, NY, age 51,---d. colic, gall bladder attack.

    New York sports writer; Jewish
    The Gazette (Little Rock, AR) sports editor
    New York Mirror, 1943, Covered Yankees, 1944 - 1958
    Had been a professional wrestler for a brief time.
    Had been a talented entertainer at the New York
    baseball writers' annual dinner & show.

    Wife: Deen, died October 3, 1957 at Lenox Hill Hospital, NYC.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------April 26, 1953-Ben Epstein, (L) presents the
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Babe Ruth Memorial Plaque to Johnny Mize,
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Yankee Stadium. Mize was named the
    Sporting News' obituary, September 3, 1958, pp. 38.------------New York Times' obituary, August 26, 1958, pp. 29.------------------------"Outstanding Player of the 1952 World Series."--Oct.26, 1952

    April, 1958: L-R: Dan Parker, Dan Daniel, Ben Epstein.------------------------1944-53: Joe Trimble, James Dawson, Ben Epstein, Dan Parker.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------covering the Yankees at spring training in St. Petersburg, FL.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 01-31-2013, 11:05 AM.


    • Ford Christopher Frick

      Born: December 19, 1894, Wawaka, IN
      Died: April 8, 1978, Bronxville, NY, age 83

      New York sports writer / commissioner;
      Colorado Springs Gazette, sports writer, 1915 - 1921
      New York American, sports writer, covered Giants, 1921 - 1931
      New York Journal, sports writer, covered Yankees, 1931 - 1933
      National League publicist, 1933 - ?
      National League President, 1935 - 1951
      Baseball Commissioner, 1951 - 1965.

      Ford had a varied career and interesting career. He was a sports writer for the New York American, from 1921-31, and covered the New York Giants. He then served as a sports writer for the New York Journal, form 1931-33 and he covered the New York Yankees. He next served as the National Leauge's publicist from 1933-35, before he was appointed National League President from 1935-51. He capped his career by serving as Baseball Commissioner from 1951-65.

      He is credited as being one of the major driving forces to create the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, which was dedicated on July 12, 1939. He later received rave credit for squashing a possible player boycott against baseball's first Negro player since the 19th Century, Jackie Robinson. Frick's actions were dramatic and decisive. He told the players that anyone who refused to take the field against Robinson would be immediately and permanently expelled from the game, no appeals. No one dared to challenge his ultimatum.

      New York Times' obituary, April 10, 1978, pp. B2.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------No Cheering In The Press Box, by Jerome Holtzman, 1973, pp. 198-199.

      1951-1959: L-R: Will Harrige (AL Pres., 1931-1959), Ford Frick (Commissioner), Warren C. Giles (NL Pres., 1951-1969).



      Gazing into a crystal ball is a popular pastime with most sports, and baseball is no exception. All during the winter, and even after opening day, fans dream their golden dreams of pennants and championships. Yesterday's disappointments are forgotten, and tomorrow's reality tinged with hope and softened with enthusiasm. Before every All-Star game or World Series, fans cloak their emotions in hope and their dreams in the panoply of victory.

      I, too, am a fan, entitled to my dreams and hopes along with the others. It's a privilege that tradition makes mandatory. Here's what I see for baseball, and other sports, fifty years from now.

      By that time (circa 2020) the major leagues will have expanded from 24 to 32 clubs, operating as four separate eight-club leagues. There will be an agreement with football that will eliminate much of the confusion of cross-scheduling and overlapping play. Baseball will return to the old 154-game schedule, with postseason playoffs culminating with the traditional World Series. The baseball season will be shortened, with the season opening in mid-April and all competition, including the World Series, ended by October 7. Whether or not the four-league schedule will include inter-league play, the crystal ball does not divulge.

      By the year 2000, there will be no weather problems. Domed stadiums will have taken care of that. By then, expert engineers and scientists will have come up with new construction ideas and new materials to enable municipalities and private corporations to build covered, year-round, all-sports structures, at less than the open structures of today. That will help solve the overlap problem. With a domed year-around stadium fixed schedule dates can be set in advance with no fear of postponements because of weather. All sports will accept likely cities without thought to latitude or the problem of sectional play. It is entirely possible, too, that a movable dome can be devised that could be opened or closed as weather conditions dictate.

      The thought of expansion immediately brings up the problem of which cities would be available for the new teams and how to supply these teams with players of real major league caliber. If moves were contemplated today, these would be matters of deep concern. However, if present projections and present trends are accurate, these problems will solve themselves by the turn of the century.

      Cities are growing at a phenomenal rate. Statistics predict that by the year 2000, our population will increase by a minimum of 25 to 30 percent. I am not shilling for any particular city or territory. But cities like Miami in the South, and Omaha, Denver, and Salt Lake in the Plains area, and Phoenix in the Southwest are growing by leaps and bounds. The Northwest, by the time expansion comes, will offer the Seattle-Tacoma area for serious consideration, or even Portland or Vancouver as prospects. Washington, our nation's capital, today is without baseball. Cities like Toronto and New Orleans already are in the market.

      A lot of folks, even now, are talking on international baseball. When that time comes Toronto, Mexico City, and Havana (even Mr. Castro can't live forever) will be ready and willing. As for playing strength, I don't worry. Increased population will take care of that. Figures show that for every good job there's always a capable and ambitious man waiting around to fill it.

      One other thought. By the time a new century rolls around, I'm hopeful Congress will have ceased investigation; the Supreme Court will have decided sports privilege and obligation under Federal statute, and concise, understandable ground rules will have been laid down under which sports can operate. At the same time, I hope sports are not included in the Off-Track Betting frenzy, or harassed by any widespread legalization of betting. Not that I'm opposed to better per se, or blind to the fact that it exists. I'm not. But sports and gambling simply do not mix. And rules legalizing gambling on a broad scale only add to the sports policing problem, by destroying the most effective weapon we have in protecting the honestly and integrity of our competitive team sports.

      Also, I hope Congress does not see fit to put sports under any special sports authority. To do so would only add to an already complicated problem, and add one more to the already overcrowded list of governmental agencies that serve no particular purpose. The result will only be to further complicate the problems of dedicated men who through the years have done a pretty good job of keeping sports clean and palatable for the American Public.

      In my dream I see something different. In the next fifty years, I see sports expanding. I see laws made clear and ground rules established under which sports can operate with dignity and proceed with confidence. And in baseball I see this and succeeding commissioners returned once again to the functions originally ordained. I see the commissioner as a judge and arbiter, respected by press and public, with full authority to protect the honesty and integrity of the game he rules. I see a commissioner relieved of the petty annoyances and criticism by rules and procedures that recognize the power and dignity of the office and at the same time define the obligations of leagues, and clubs, and owners, in simple language that the fan public can understand.

      Of course, it's only a dream, but a happy one - and a fit ending for what is intended to be a happy book.
      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-18-2013, 11:36 PM.


      • Eugene Devlan Fowler---AKA Gene Fowler

        Born: March 8, 1890, Denver, CO
        Died: July 2, 1960, Los Angeles, CA, age 70

        New York sports writer / author / biographer;
        West Denver HS, (Colo); University of Colorado School of Journalism
        Denver newspaperman
        New York American, sports writer (October, 1917 - 1924),
        New York Daily Mirror, sports editor (1924 - 1925),
        New York American managing editor, (1925 - 1928),
        New York Morning Telegraph, (1928),
        free lance biographer (1928 - 1960).

        Gene was a great pal of Damon Runyon, also from Denver. He was himself a true character, known for his many affairs. He might have been trained by famed sports editor, Otto Floto. He became a Hollywood script writer.
        Gene Fowler (Sportswriter. Born, Denver, Colo., Mar. 8, 1890; died, Los Angeles, Calif., July 2, 1960.) A newspaperman in his native Denver, Gene Fowler joined the sports staff of the New York American in Sept. 1918 on the recommendation of Damon Runyon (q.v.). Fowler, born Eugene Devlan, was adopted by his stepfather as a youngster and drifted into the local newspaper business. His first assignment for the Hearst papers in New York was to cover the 1918 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs. When William Randolph Hearst decided to enter the morning tabloid field, he started the Daily Mirror in 1924 and Gene Fowler was his first sports editor. Two years later, he became the managing editor of the other Hearst morning paper, the American. In 1930, Fowler moved to The Morning Telegraph, the New York racing daily, as its managing editor. By 1932, he was actively writing screenplays for Hollywood, starting with Union Depot. Fowler moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1930s and continued to turn out screenplays. He also wrote a Broadway play (with Ben Hecht). Fowler wrote a dozen books, the best known of which was Beau James, a 1949 biography of colorful New York mayor Jimmy Walker (q.v.), which became a motion picture of the same name starring Bob Hope as Mayor Walker and narrated by Walter Winchell, the powerful Mirror columnist. (The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel.)

        Biographies by Gene Fowler:
        William Fallon, famous NYC attorney (The Great Mouthpiece, 1931),
        Harry H. Tammen/Frederick G. Bonfils, owners of The Denver Post, (Timberline, 1933)
        John Barrymore, actor, (Good Night, Sweet Prince, 1943),
        (A Solo In Tom-Toms, 1931,1946)
        Jimmy Walker, NYC Mayor, 1926 - 1932 (Beau James, 1949),
        Jimmy Durante (Schnozzola, The Story of Jimmy Durante, 1951),
        Minutes of the Last Meeting (Sadakichi Harttmann, W.C. Fields, John Barrymore, John Decker, 1954)

        Some of Gene's other published works:
        Trumpet In The Dust, 1930
        Shoe The Wild Mare, 1931
        The Great Magoo (w Ben HECHT), 1933
        Father Goose, 1934
        The Mighty Barnum (w Bess MEREDYTH), 1934
        Salute To Yesterday, 1937
        Illusion In Java, 1939
        The Jervis Bay Goes Down, 1941
        Skyline, 1961 (Was working on when he died. Accounts of his newspaper days.)

        Gene's Biography: The Young Man from Denver : A Candid and Affectionate Biography of Gene Fowler, by Will Fowler (son), 1962.
        Gene's Biography: The Life and Legend of Gene Fowler, by H. Allen Smith, 1977.

        Biographical Dictionary of Literary Journalism
        Writers and editors, edited by Ed Applegate, 1996--------------------------------------1959 working on Skyline-------------------------------------Sporting News' obituary, July 13, 1960, pp. 50.

        -----1943, after Good Night, Sweet Prince came out.----------------------Fire Island, New York, 1929-------------------------------------------November, 1937.

        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-08-2012, 02:17 PM.


        • ------------
          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-27-2010, 06:01 PM.


          • Wilton Simpson Farnsworth---Bill Farnsworth

            Born: June 7, 1885, Milbury, MA
            Died: July 10, 1945, New York City, NY, age 60,---d. St. Clare's Hospital (NYC), cerebral hemorrhage he suffered last autumn.

            Boston, Atlanta, New York sports writer;
            Worchester Gazette,
            Boston American, 1904 - 1907
            New York Evening Journal, 1907 - 1912
            Atlanta Georgian, sports editor, 1912 - 1914
            New York American, sports editor, 1914 - 1925
            New York Journal, 1925 - 1937
            spent all his last 8 years as Vice-President of 20th Century Sporting Club.

            Wilton Simpson "Bill" Farnsworth (June 7, 1885 – July 10, 1945) was an American sports writer, editor, and boxing promoter. He worked for William Randolph Hearst's newspapers from 1904 to 1937. He was the sports editor of Hearst's New York Evening Journal (evening) or New York American (morning) from 1914 to 1937. He also worked for shorter stints on Hearst's Boston American (1904-1907) and Atlanta Georgian (1912-1914). From 1937 to 1944, he was a boxing promoter in partnership with Mike Jacobs.

            Early years
            Farnsworth was born in 1885 in Millbury, Massachusetts.[1] At the time of the 1900 United States Census, Farnsworth was living with his parents, Wilton Grafton Farnsworth and Annie (Simpson) Farnsworth in Millbury. His father's occupation was listed as a "landlord."

            Reporting and editorial career
            Farnsworth began his career as a journalist working for the Evening Gazette in Worcester, Massachusetts. In 1904, he was hired by the Boston American, a newly formed newspaper that was part of William Randolph Hearst's chain of newspapers.

            In 1907, Farnwsworth moved to New York to work for Hearst's New York Evening Journal . In October 1908, Farnsworth established himself when he exposed a plot to bribe umpire Bill Klem in connection with a playoff game between the New York Giants and Chicago Cubs. He spent three months covering the story.

            In 1912, Farnsworth was transferred to Atlanta as the sports editor of the Atlanta Georgian after it was acquired by Hearst. He returned to New York in 1914 as the sports editor of Hearst's morning newspaper, the New York American. He also covered the New York Yankees after returning from Atlanta to New York. By the early 1920s, Farnsworth had moved from the American back to Hearst's evening newspaper, The New York Evening Journal, as sports editor. In 1922, Farnsworth hired Ford Frick as a baseball writer.

            Farnsworth later returned to the New York Evening Journal, serving as its sports editor for many years, and continued to hold that position after Hearst's morning and evening papers merged to become the New York Journal-American. Farnsworth continued to write during his time as an editor, and his column was published under the title "Sidewalks of New York."

            Farnsworth was a friend of New York Yankees' owner Jacob Ruppert and once negotiated a contract renewal with Babe Ruth on behalf of the Yankees.

            Boxing promoter

            Starting in 1923, Farnsworth teamed with Damon Runyon in promoting boxing bouts which raised more than $1 million for Hearst's Free Milk Fund for Babies. When Madison Square Garden refused to give a larger cut of the gate to the Milk Fund, Farnsworth wrote articles criticizing the refusal and negotiated leases with the city's baseball stadiums to host future fights.

            In 1937, Farnsworth teamed up with boxing promoter Mike Jacobs and Damon Runyon to establish the Twentieth Century Sporting Club, a boxing promotion organization formed to compete with Madison Square Garden. Farnsworth served as the vice president and general manager of the organization.

            Family and death

            Farnsworth was married to Millicent de Freytas of Brookline, Massachusetts. At the time of the 1910 United States Census, Farnsworth was living in Manhattan with his wife Millicent and their two children, Marjorie and Wilton. His occupation was listed as the editor of a newspaper. In a draft registration card completed in September 1918, Farnsworth indicated that he was employed by W.R. Hearst as an editor in New York. At the time of the 1920 United States Census, Farnsworth was living in Queens with his wife and two children. His occupation was again listed as a newspaper editor.

            Farnsworth suffered a stroke while attending a boxing match at Madison Square Garden on November 10, 1944. He remained hospitalized at St. Clare's Hospital in New York where he died in July 1945. A requiem mass was held for Farnsworth at St. Vincent Ferrer Church in Manhattan. The honorary pallbearers as his funeral included his longtime friend Damon Runyon, New York Mayor Jimmy Walker, boxing promoter Mike Jacobs, Pulitzer Prize winner Max Kase, boxing historian Nat Fleischer, and humorist Bugs Baer.

            His son Wilton M. Farnsworth was also a sportswriter for the New York Journal-American.

            New York Times' Obituary, July 11, 1945, pp. 11.----------------------------------------Sporting News' obituary, July 19, 1945, pp. 16.
            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-04-2011, 01:01 PM.


            • James Thomas Farrell

              Born: February 27, 1904, Chicago, IL
              Died: August 22, 1979, New York City, NY, age 75

              Book author;
              Wrote 1 baseball book, My Baseball Diary, 1957;
              also wrote 52 other books, the most popular of which was: Studs Lonigan (1932) and its 2 sequels in 1934 and 1935.
              Had a life-long love for baseball.

              James T. Farrell was born into a working-class second generation Irish-Catholic family living in Chicago in 1904. Farrell's father, James Farrell, was a struggling teamster (truck driver) who was unable to support the ever-growing family (the Farrell's had a total of fifteen children, out of which only six survived). In response to the hard times Farrell's father sent three-year-old James to live with his grandparents, who were both born in Ireland and who were both illiterate, who were living relatively comfortably in Chicago as a result of a generous income provided by some of their more wealthy/successful children. And although Farrell's real parents had times where they were relatively well-off, even living near Farrell and his grandparents in a nearby apartment at one point, most of their lives were spent living in whatever kind of housing they could afford at the time.

              When Farrell was about fifteen-years-old, he and his grandparents moved to the South Fifties, the neighborhood that would later serve as the basis for a young Irish-Catholic boy named Studs Lonigan in one of Farrell's most renown books.

              Not much else about Farrell's young life is known, but apparently he did well enough in school to make his way into the University of Chicago in 1925. There, he completed six terms of schooling, until in 1927 he said, in one of his most famous quotes, that he would write "regardless of the consequences". Farrell also is recorded as saying that the "greatest achievement in the world was to earn for yourself the right to say-I am an artist". Farrell first step to "becoming an artist" came in 1929 when he published the short story, "Slob."

              Farrell's most famous works, though, came in the first half of the 1930s. In 1931 he and his new wife Dorothy Butler (who he married not once but twice were in Paris, where Farrell was largely on a "self-discovery" type of mission, where he tried "the expatriate life and [discovered] it had little meaning to him". In 1932, Farrell came back to his home in New York City, where he lived until the day of his death.

              During his time in Paris, Farrell finished writing and had published the first installment of the Studs Lonigan trilogy-Young Lonigan, in 1931. After Farrell had returned from Paris with his wife, he continued on the rest of the trilogy, publishing The Young Manhood of Studs Lonigan in 1934, and the final part of the trilogy, Judgment Day, in 1935.

              After this time, Farrell sunk into a period of "critical neglect" that lasted for the majority of the remainder of his life. Instead of taking his time writing better thought-out and more innovative novels, Farrell wrote a large number of books and novels in place of the lack of critical praise he was getting. By the time of Farrell's death in 1979, he "left over fifty books of stories and novels behind him, roughly one for each year of his writing career".

              Studs Lonigan is a trilogy of books (Young Lonigan, The Young Manhood of Studs Lonigan, and Judgment Day) that details the life of a young lower-middle-class Irish boy living in Chicago from 1916 up until his death in 1931 as a result of "double-pneumonia." Studs Lonigan is the perfect caricature of the "tragic hero." He is not a terribly smart boy by nature, which is even further hindered by Studs' decision to not continue his education past his Irish-Catholic middle school, St. Patrick's. Though what Studs lacks in intelligence, he makes up for in his natural athleticism and his innate kindness and caring for the people around him. Unfortunately, Studs is put into a position in his life where he simply cannot "win." While he would like to be himself, a relatively kind-natured, emotional boy with a lot potential, the society of the time tells him he should be an Irish-Catholic with the fear of God in him, and also live up to the traditional traits of men: a hard, unemotional, tough guy.

              In Studs Lonigan, Farrell demonstrates a lot of the innate qualities that he possesses as a writer. Studs Lonigan is an interesting mix of both Naturalism and Realism, two important literary methods of thought in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Another one of the very unique traits which Farrell employed as a means to further developer Studs is the technique of "stream of consciousness" (the process of describing a character's thoughts as they occur to the character). Through these techniques, Farrell is able to fully develop the dark, gritty, and depressing world that Studs lives in, while simultaneously making Studs into a fully three-dimensional character with whom readers can both sympathize with and even despise at times.

              Farrell also displays a lot of his own thoughts and feelings about a number of aspects of his life through the story of Studs Lonigan. One example of this is the complaints he shows about the Irish-Catholic religion, which he refused to acknowledge as a personal practice relatively early in his life, which is present even in the very early pages of Studs Lonigan's first book, Young Lonigan, where Studs reflects a number of times about the contradictions and complexities of his teachings from his Irish-Catholic school.

              Studs Lonigan, in the later book especially, is a very telling and accurate description of life during the Great Depression. The Lonigan family faces a number of very troubling happenings as Stud Lonigan's father begins to really feel the heat of the problems which the depression is starting to impart upon him, as his painting business, which he established through nothing outside of his own hard work, fails. Studs, also, faces the troubles of the times as some of the money he had saved up and decides to invest in the stock market comes back to haunt him as the market continues to fall.

              Studs Lonigan is one of the great aspects of American literature, especially Chicago literature, and is in, in part, a "great American tragedy." Studs Lonigan is consistently put into realistic situations which he simply cannot hope to be successful in; Studs Lonigan is the story of a good boy who is simply unable to live against the forces of life, no matter what he does. In the end, Studs' death is an even more depressing end to a depressing tale about a young boy not necessarily because he simply dies, but because his death actually brings Studs' closer to happiness than anything else outside a few instances in his early life could.

              NYC, 1947: Israel Feinberg, VP ILGWU; James Farrell; and Bernard Englander, World War II veteran and head of Optical---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------June 25, 1973
              Unit, International Solidarity Committee, help with overseas CARE package, at 303 4th Ave. in New York, 1947.

              February 16, 1963: New York: The Ghost Of Studs Lonigan. James T. Farrell autographs copies of The Silence of History, which has just been published. Silence, Farrell's 29th published book, is the first of 25 volumes in a gagantuan literary project "to paint the panorama of our times." The creator of Studs Lonigan lives and works in a small apartment around the corner from United Nations headquarters. "I had a purpose when I began, and that purpose remains. It was to complete a lifework of books of fiction. I struggle daily, line by line, to achieve my purpose." Farrell will be 59 on February 27th.

              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-04-2011, 05:10 PM.


              • John Murray Tynan

                Born: June 24, 1898, Sheepshead Bay (Brooklyn), NY
                Died: May 16, 1943, NYC, age 44,

                New York sports writer;
                started working part-time for the Brooklyn Eagle in 1918, while still working as a clerk for W.R. Grace & Sons steamship co.
                Brooklyn Eagle sports writer, 1924-26.
                New York Herald-Tribune sports writer, 1926-43. Horse racing writer.

                New York Times' obituary, March 17, 1943, pp. 21.
                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-20-2010, 09:23 PM.


                • John Barret Miley---AKA Jack Miley

                  Born: May 28, 1899, Milwaukee, WI
                  Died: June 17, 1945, New York, NY, age 46

                  Baltimore / Philadelphia / New York sports writer;
                  Baltimore American,
                  Philadelphia Public Ledger,
                  New York Daily News city, sports editor, ? - October, 1937.
                  King Features Syndicate
                  New York Daily Mirror
                  New York Evening Graphic,
                  New York Morning Telegraph
                  New York Post
                  Wife Norma

                  New York Herald-Tribune obituary, June 18, 1945.-----------------Sporting News' obituary,----------New York Times' obituary,
                  ----------------------------------------------------------------June 21, 1945, pp. 18, column 4.---------June 18, 1945, pp. 19.

                  Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-08-2012, 02:47 PM.


                  • Francis A. Gibbons---AKA Frank Gibbons

                    Born: January 29, 1906, Cleveland, OH
                    Died: September 1, 1964, Cleveland, OH, age 58---d. cancer, after many months, at Fairview Park Hospital, Cleveland, OH

                    Cleveland sports writer;
                    Attended Cleveland College
                    Cleveland News, 1923
                    Cleveland Press, sports writer, 1936 - 1958, columnist, 1958 - 1964.
                    WWII; Army Air Corps, Armed Forces Radio Service
                    6'4, 235

                    Father: James H., born Pennsylvania around 1870; Mother: Mary A. Madden, born Youngstown, OH, around 1876, died March 2, 1956 in Cleveland, OH; Brother: James H., born around 1890, died March 3, 1953, in an automobile accident en route to his mother's funeral, near Hammond, Ind; Wife: Frances M. Klein; Son: Gregory; Daughter: Patricia.

                    Bob Feller's Strikeout Story, 1947 (autobiography of Bob Feller), with Frank Gibbons

                    Sporting News' obituary, September 12, 1964, pp. 42.------------------------New York Times' obituary, September 3, 1964, pp. 29.

                    Cleveland Press' obituary, September 2, 1964.

                    Cleveland Press' Obituary, September 2, 1964.
                    Frank Gibbons Dies; Press Sports Writer

                    Frank Gibbons, The Press sports columnist regarded as one of the best in the nation, died last night in Fairview Park Hospital at the age of 55.

                    He had been suffering from cancer for months. Finally he knew it and his friends knew it, and the pain was hard for all. He is survived by his wife, Frances; a son, Gregory, 12, and a daughter, Patricia, 8. Their home is at 2840 Wildflower Dr., Rocky River. Friends may call at Corrigan Funeral Home, 20820 Lorain Rd., Fairview Park tonight and tomorrow. The funeral mass will be in St. Christopher Church in Rocky River, Friday at 11 a. m.

                    A writer of nation-wide reputation, Gibbons had been the Press sports columnist since 1958. Before that he covered the Indians. But it wasn't long after Gibby joined The Press, 28 years ago that he became a tremendously popular and colorful figure in the sports and the newspaper worlds. There were many reasons. He was big--gigantic. He was a rollicking story-teller, a man with a quick and side-splitting figure of speech to fit any occasion.

                    He had a big smile and a fine, big voice that he loved to use in The Press City Room as well as in the annual Ribs and Roasts baseball writers' show. He had the Irish flair for humor and drama. It was in Tucson last spring that the Big Fellow fell ill and had to come home. He took it big, he took it calm, at least from outward appearances.

                    In the weeks that followed Gibby would show up in the Sports Department to write his daily column. It was painful for all his comrades to see that big body of his wasting away, his collars 'too big'. It was gulpy talking with him and trying to keep up the good cheer. Gibby knew this, too, and it got so that he'd slip into the building late in the day so that he wouldn't have to face his well-meaning associates or they to face him.

                    There came the time when he could wrestle with the typewriter, the well-turned quip, no longer. It was home and the hospital now. But even then he would keep in touch with the office, calling regularly, talking about the Indians and other sports events. Only last Sunday, he was on the phone charting about the Browns great win over the Lions. And if he was asked how he was feeling Big Frank would fall back on sports jargon to dismiss it: "Look," he'd say, "I know I'm in the last inning . . .

                    News of his death brought an immediate reaction from leading sports figures. I knew him only three and a half years, but in that time came to respect him not only as a man, but in my opinion, the leading sports columnist in the nation," said Arthur Modell, Brown's president. Gabe Paul, who is in Washington with the Indians, said, "Gibby was an outstanding writer and a very fine person and I was privileged to know him as well as I did." "One of my very dearest friends. A fine talented man," commented Bill Veeck, from his home in Easton, Md.

                    Gibbons, a native Clevelander, was born Jan. 29, 1909. He showed an early interest in sports, indicating the direction his journalistic career would take. He attended St. Ignatius High School and Cleveland College. He attributed his interest in literature to reading as a teen-ager to a blind friend, Martin Ribar. At 17, Gibbons made his debut in Class A sandlot baseball as a catcher with the Cleveland Tractors. The next year he got his first newspaper job in the sports department of the former Cleveland News. He worked briefly for the News and then took off on a nation-wide trip, doing odd jobs and seeing the country.

                    He joined The Press in 1936, covering high school sports. From the start Gibbons demonstrated the bright, colorful writing style that was to become familiar to Press readers for almost three decades. In 1937 Gibbons was promoted to writing about the Indians. Gibbons moved onto the Cleveland baseball scene at the start of an exciting era. Bob Feller, the Iowa schoolboy, had just begun a career that was to become one of the most distinguished in the game's history. Later Gibbons was to chronicle it, in collaboration with Feller, in the book "Strikeout Story," one of the best sellers in the history of sports publications at that time.

                    Gibbons spent three years in the Army Air Corps, some of the time attached to a special services unit in Europe. He was assigned to the Armed Forces radio network and some of his duties were with the band of the late Glenn Miller. Gibbons treasured the record of a radio interview with Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, made shortly before the future President left Paris. After the war, Gibbons returned as baseball writer for The Press. In 1946, he recorded one of his many journalistic beats, announcing Bill Veeck's purchase of the Indians, which launched Cleveland post-war baseball boom.

                    Gibbons' brilliant writing won national attention and numerous Newspaper Guild awards as the Indians experienced their brightest period, winning pennants in 1948 and 1954.
                    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-26-2013, 01:20 PM.


                    • Matthew Howard Gallagher---AKA Matt Gallagher

                      Born: March 5, 1888, Waco, Texas
                      Died: November 9, 1955, Los Angeles, CA, age 67

                      Los Angeles sports writer / publicist;
                      Pacific Coast League baseball for local newspapers, 1909 - 1931
                      Los Angeles Evening Express,
                      Los Angeles Herald & Express, credited with discovering Heine Manush, left newspaper work in 1931 for publicity work.

                      Associate In charge of Public Relations to David Fleming, President Of Angels in 1938;
                      After Pearl Harbor, he volunteered for the USO, and served them till the end of the war.
                      Also worked for Pro Bowl, Jr. Rose Bowl, Helms Foundation, yearly Shrine Hospital Prep Football game.

                      Los Angeles Times' obituary,
                      November 11, 1955, pp. C2.

                      -------------------------------Los Angeles Times' obituary, November 10, 1955, pp. C1.------Sporting News' obituary, November 23, 1955, pp. 22.

                      L-R: Harry Williams (Pacific Coast L. Sec.), W. R. Bill Schroeder, Matt Gallagher, Paul H. Helms (Helms Athletic Foundation).
                      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-08-2012, 04:07 PM.


                      • William Harrison Robertson---AKA Sparrow Robertson

                        Born: March 4, 1859, Edinburgh, Scotland (Date/Place of Birth confirmed by passport)
                        Died: June 8, 1941, Paris, France, age 82, (during Nazi occupation),---d. at home near Fontainebleau of heart malady.

                        New York sports writer;
                        New York Herald-Tribune; European correspondent (Paris office), known as Paris Herald
                        Went to Paris, France duing WWI, became Paris correspondent for New York Herald-Tribune.
                        Stayed in Paris after the war.
                        sports writer / gossip writer.

                        February 1, 1935: L-R: Sparrow Robertson, Lou Gehrig, Mrs. Eleanor Gehrig. Lou Gehrig, big shot in American baseball, accompanied by Mrs. Gehrig, are pictured in their Paris hotel. Gehrig was returning home in easy stages after his tour of Japan with the All Star Baseball team.

                        New York Times' obituary, June 12, 1941, pp. 24.---------------------------------------Hartford Courant obituary, June 14, 1941, pp. 13.--------------Sporting News' obituary, June 19, 1941, pp. 2.
                        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-26-2010, 07:31 PM.


                        • John Peter Gallagher---AKA Jack Gallagher

                          Born: April 9, 1886, Castletown, Ireland
                          Died: April 25, 1946, Chicago, IL, age 60, d. Heart attack, while attending press meeting in Waldorf-Astoria, NYC.

                          Chicago sports writer;
                          Family moved from Ireland to Philadelphia when he was 5.
                          Attended parochial school, De La Salle Academy (Philadelphia, PA),
                          Telegraph operator,
                          Chicago Tribune, 1911 - 1920
                          Los Angeles Times, (Chicago office), IL (1920-46).

                          Los Angeles Times' obituary---------------------------Chicago Daily Tribune obituary-------New York Times' obituary
                          April 26, 1946, pp. A1.-----------------------------------------April 26, 1946, pp. 18.----------April 26, 1946, pp. 21.

                          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-11-2011, 05:05 PM.


                          • Albert M. Horowitz---AKA Al Horwits Changed his last name to Horwits because he felt 'Horowitz' sounded too Jewish. Changed it to Horowits first, then Horwits.

                            Born: September 20, 1905, Pennsylvania
                            Died: February 24, 1984, West Hollywood, CA, age 81

                            Philadelphia sports writer;
                            Philadelphia Ledger, 1927 - 1941
                            Philadelphia Athletics, Publicist, 1942.
                            Los Angeles press agent

                            Father: Benjamin Kowitz, born Russia around 1871; Mother: Ida Quitka Kowitz, born Russia around 1873. Wife: Clare F., born Pennsylvania around 1909.

                            He changed his name from his birth name, Horowitz, because he felt it sounded too Jewish for professional purposes, and might lead to discrimination.

                            July 25, 1938: L-R: Carl Hubbell, Joe DiMaggio, Al Horwitz, Connie Mack, Mickey Cochrane.
                            At the Philadelphia sports writers' annual banquet, it gave out awards.
                            Hubbell was voted Best Pitcher; DiMaggio, MVP; Cochrane, Most Courageous.

                            1942: Sports writers, L-R: Red Smith (Philadelphia Record), Irving Lisager (Chicago News), Howard Roberts (Chicago News),
                            Al Horowitz (Philadelphia Record), Frank Yeutter (Philadelphia Bulletin), Samuel Goldwyn (MGM movie studio),
                            Herb Simons (Chicago Times), Babe Ruth, Gary Cooper (actor), Stan Baumgartner (Philadelphia Inquirer), Christy Walsh.
                            Kneeling: Herb Schulte (Chicago News), Jimmy Corcoran (Chicago Herald American).
                            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-26-2013, 01:02 PM.


                            • Lawrence Spencer Holst---AKA Doc Holst

                              Born: August 26, 1898, Toledo, OH
                              Died: April 20, 1971, Toledo, OH, age 72---d. Maumee Valley Hospital, Toledo, OH

                              Detroit / Toledo / Cleveland sports writer;
                              El Paso Herald,
                              Toledo Times, 1917 - 1930
                              Detroit Free Press, (7 years)
                              Toledo News-Bee
                              Toledo Blade
                              Cleveland News
                              Detroit Times, (13 years)
                              Flint Journal, (7 years)
                              New York Mirror
                              King Features
                              Hearst Sunday Features
                              Toledo Times, 1945 - April, 1967

                              -----------------------------------------The Toledo Blade (OH) obituary, April 21, 1971, pp. 24.

                              Sporting News' obituary, May 8, 1971, pp. 38.

                              October 6, 1940.
                              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-08-2012, 05:24 PM.


                              • John Francis Kieran

                                Born: August 2, 1892, Bronx, NY
                                Died: December 10, 1981, Rockport, MA, age 89

                                New York sports writer;
                                New York Times, sports reporter, 1914 - 1917, 1919 - 1922
                                New York Tribune, Baseball writer, 1922 - 1925
                                New York American, columnist, 1925 - 1926
                                New York Times, sports columnist, 1927 - December, 1941
                                New York Sun, nature columnist, December, 1941 - 1945.
                                John F. Kieran, Warren Brown, and John Drebinger were the recipients of the 1973 J.G. Taylor Spink Award.

                                John Francis Kieran was a former City College of New York and Fordham University shortstop. The son of the president of Hunter College, Kieran covered baseball from 1922 to 1927 for the New York Times. His "Sports of the Times" column was the first bylined in the Times.

                                Kieran's interests were varied and extensive. An accomplished ornithologist and naturalist, Kieran was head of the National Audubon Society for a number of years. While on the road covering ball games, he would regularly spend mornings visiting museums, zoos, parks, libraries, or reading classics of literature.

                                Kieran later gained fame as the jug-eared, wide-eyed star of "Information Please," a national radio and television question-and-answer program. It was in this role that Kieran showed that sportswriters' knowledge was not simply confined to the press box and clubhouse. A fountain of information, Kieran wrote books on a variety of different subjects.
                                Biography Resource Center:
                                John Kieran was affectionately known as America's "walking encyclopedia." A noted journalist--and first author of the "Sports of the Times" column in the New York Times --Kieran made use of his wide-ranging knowledge on the popular radio show Information, Please. His radio work made him famous beyond the bounds of sports-writing and helped to create an audience for the numerous books on natural history he wrote later in life. "At the popular level Kieran enjoyed a national reputation not only as an authority on sports but also as the man who knew something about almost everything. . . . ," noted William Curran in the Dictionary of Literary Biography. "His explanation for the extraordinary breadth of knowledge was simple: `I read a lot and I am interested in many things.'"

                                A native of the Bronx, Kieran began working at the New York Times in 1914, after serving as a gentleman farmer and a civil engineer. He stayed at the Times continuously between 1927 and 1941 after having been offered the newspaper's first by-lined sports column, "Sports of the Times." Enormously erudite with a keen sense of humor, Kieran was known to lace his columns with mock sonnets and learned references that introduced a new sophistication into sports-writing. Curran observed: "For all the playful interjection of classical references and literary allusions, Kieran's prose offered a refreshing change from the baroque excesses and blizzard of clichés that marked much of American sports-writing even as late as the 1930s. Long before Kieran had taken up the considerable challenge of writing a daily column in the country's most prestigious daily newspaper, he had arrived at a plain, clear, and easy manner of reporting, a style that won him ardent readers."

                                In 1938 Kieran was asked to join a panel of "experts" for a radio game show called Information, Please. Listeners were invited to submit questions in an effort to stump the panel, which also included Franklin P. Adams, Oscar Levant, and moderator Clifton Fadiman. Topics included everything from sports and current events to such esoteric fields as botany, archeology, law, ecology, and language. "Kieran answered correctly thousands of questions submitted by listeners to Information, Please," Curran noted. ". . . There seemed to be no field to which he was a stranger, and he became a national celebrity."

                                America's "walking encyclopedia" left the New York Times in 1941 and accepted a position as a natural history columnist for the New York Sun. This job change marked a significant turning point in Kieran's life. Long interested in the natural world, he devoted the rest of his career to writing about the nation's flora and fauna, publishing no less than nine titles on nature themes. In a review of Footnotes on Nature, Commonweal correspondent Alan Devoe wrote: "John Kieran shows himself a real naturalist, in the best sense: a man with a deep, intelligent and lifelong devotion to the wonder of the natural world, and a man who knows how to write about his nature adventures with a winning enthusiasm." In the New York Times, R. G. Davis concluded: "`Footnotes on Nature' is a genuine act of love, and like all the best books of its kind, it gives the reader a very exciting impulse to go out and take for himself these pleasures which are so near, so costless and so inexhaustibly rich."

                                Kieran must have surprised the citizens of Manhattan when he published A Natural History of New York City in 1960. Odd as it may sound, the book explored the fantastic variety of wildlife found in the city, from butterflies and flowers to migratory waterfowl in the region's tidal estuaries. New York Times Book Review contributor E. W. Teale cited the work for its "exact and often surprising information," adding: "The volume is one long delightful trip in the company of a charming and erudite companion. . . . [The book] is John Kieran's finest work, in many ways the best treatment the natural history of a great city has ever received."

                                From 1952 until his death in 1981, Kieran lived quietly in Rockport, Massachusetts. His memoir, Not Under Oath: Recollections and Reflections, was published in 1964. "`Information, Please' has passed into the realm of pleasant memories," wrote Saturday Review correspondent R. L. Perkin, "but the man with the Spitzenburg voice . . . has brightened and warmed the fall book season with a most delightful memoir. Not Under Oath has the richness, the color, and the zest of autumn weather, and it explains why so many men and women love John Kieran." The man who Curran called "perhaps the best and most literate sportswriter of his generation" died in Rockport at the age of 89, having inaugurated a nationally-recognized newspaper column that continues to this day.

                                PERSONAL INFORMATION: Surname is pronounced Keer-un; born August 2, 1892, in New York, NY; died December 10, 1981, in Rockport, MA; son of James Michael (an educator and administrator) and Kate (a teacher and musician; maiden name, Donahue) Kieran; married Alma Boldtmann, May 14, 1919 (died June, 1944); married Margaret Ford (a journalist), September 5, 1947; children: (first marriage) James Michael, John Francis, Beatrice. Education: Attended College of the City of New York (now City College of the City University of New York), 1908-11; Fordham University, B.S. (cum laude), 1912; Clarkson College of Technology, D.Sc., 1941; Wesleyan University, M.A., 1942. Military/Wartime Service: Served with the 11th Engineers of the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I.

                                AWARDS: Burroughs Medal, John Burroughs Memorial Association, 1960, for recognition of an outstanding book on natural science.

                                CAREER: Held a variety of jobs during his early career, including teaching in a country school in Dutchess County, NY, running a poultry business, and working as a timekeeper for a sewer construction project; New York Times, sports writer, 1914-17, 1919-22; New York Tribune, baseball writer, 1922-25; New York American, columnist, 1925-26; New York Times, columnist, 1927-41; New York Sun, columnist, 1941-44; freelance writer, 1944-81. Elector, Hall of Fame for Great Americans, beginning 1945; member of the board of experts on radio program, Information, Please, 1938-48.

                                The Story of the Olympic Games: 776 B.C.-1936 A.D., Frederick A. Stokes (New York, NY), 1936, revised editions (with Arthur Daley) published quadrennially, Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1948-77.
                                The American Sporting Scene, illustrations by Joseph W. Golinkin, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1941.
                                Not Under Oath: Recollections and Reflections, Houghton, 1964.

                                Contributor of articles to periodicals, including Saturday Evening Post, Woman's Home Companion, American Magazine, Literary Digest, Collier's, and Audubon Magazine.

                                New York Times' obituary, December 11, 1981, pp. D19.--------------------------------------------Biographical Dictionary of American Sports,
                                ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Outdoors, Communications Media, 1988.

                                No Cheering in The Press Box
                                by Jermone Holtzman, 1995, pp. 34-35.-----------------------Sporting News, December 26, 1981.

                                Information Please panel: L-R: Oscar Levant, John Kieran, Cedric Hardwicke, Franklin P. Adams.

                                -------------------------------------------------------------------------Moe Berg/John Kieran: 1935
                                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-11-2011, 06:55 PM.


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