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  • Leonard Robert Davids---AKA Bob Davids

    Born: March 19, 1926, Kanawha, IA
    Died: February 10, 2002, Washington, DC, age 75,---d. bladder cancer, metastasized.

    Baseball organization founder;
    Norway, IA, 4 year old, (April 5, 1930 census)
    Norway, IA, 14-year old, (April 2, 1940 census)

    Father: James Davids, born Netherlands, around 1870; Mother: Katie, born Nebraska, around 1886;

    Founder of Society for American Baseball Research (SABR);
    After founding SABR in 1971, Bob ran the organization out of his northwest Washington, D.C., home for 10 years, preparing and mailing the SABR Bulletin newsletter and Baseball Research Journal. In 1985, Bill James dedicated his landmark Historical Baseball Abstract to "the man who has done more for baseball research than anyone else living — L. Robert Davids." His personal research interests were reflected in his SABR published books: Great Hitting Pitchers, This Date in Baseball History, and the three-volume Minor League Baseball Stars. He also edited a commercially published anthology of SABR writings, Insiders’ Baseball, for Scribners. He was the primary editor for most SABR publications in the Society’s early years. While working in a 30-year career for the United States government, mostly at the Pentagon and the Atomic Energy Commission, Bob wrote many articles for The Sporting News from 1951-65. He also published many articles on Congressional history in Roll Call, the Capitol Hill publication. He retired from federal service in 1981. SABR established an award in his name in 1985 as the Society's highest honor and its first regional chapter, serving the Washington-Baltimore area, was named for him in 1986.
    The Baseball Biography Project, by David Vincent.
    Bob Davids, a career Federal government employee, never played professional baseball. However, he had a deep and lasting impact on the game by founding the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) in 1971. This organization has had a large effect on how baseball is quantified and discussed, and its existence is a logical extension of Bob's love for the game of baseball as well as his chosen professional career path.

    Leonard Davids was born the eighth of nine children on a farm four miles southwest of Kanawha, Iowa, on March 19, 1926. He was the child of James and Katie (Bakker) Davids. James emigrated from the Netherlands and changed his name from the Dutch original Jacobus Vroegindeweij. Katie was a third-generation American of German heritage. All nine of their children were born at home, many without a doctor present at the birth.

    Although his given name was Leonard, he acquired the nickname "Bob" early in life. The background of this name is unclear, as different members of the family tell different stories. One version of the story is that the young Leonard went around the house imitating the sound of the family's new washing machine saying: "bob, bob, bob ..." His older brothers then started calling him Bob as a result of this act. In later years, he used the name "L. Robert Davids" in all correspondence.

    Bob played sports growing up and was a star pitcher on his high school baseball team. In one game during his senior year against Garner High School, the county seat, he struck out 10 batters in a 7-inning 3-hitter. He enjoyed pitching and later in life displayed his talent in unusual ways. On one trip home to Iowa with his grandson, the two stopped in Dyersville to visit the Field of Dreams movie set playing field. Bob usually carried bats, gloves and balls in the trunk of his car. While in Dyersville, he pitched batting practice for his grandson and then for anyone else who wanted to hit that day on that field.

    Another example of his pitching occurred when the Washington chapter of SABR met at a minor league ballpark. Bob threw out a ceremonial pitch before the game to the delight of the chapter members. It was always a strike, sometimes to the surprise of the player chosen to catch the pitch.

    Davids began studying baseball in 1939 about the time he started high school. He acquired the book Major League Baseball published by Whitman Publishing Company. This book contained annual averages for players, and the young Davids read them with great interest. Bob's interest in these statistics caused him to read about the performance of players in earlier years.

    Bob attended the Norway Township #3 grade school and graduated from Kanawha High School in 1943. He left after graduation for San Diego, where his brother Bert lived. In California, Bob attended prep school and worked for Consolidated-Vultree Aircraft Corp. He enlisted in the Army Air Force in February 1944 and flew as a nose gunner in the same aircraft, B-24s, which he had helped build in San Diego. His two years of service included duty on Okinawa and in the Philippines.

    Davids took two baseball publications with him overseas. The first was the 1945 Baseball Register, and the second was about pitching records. The latter book related team won/lost records to individual performance. Bob read both books frequently while overseas to the extent that they were both in tatters by the time he returned to the U.S. In fact, the first few pages of the book on pitchers were all torn off, leaving no title page to identify in later years.

    After leaving the military in 1946, Bob enrolled at the University of Missouri. He received a Bachelor of Journalism in three years and a Master of Arts in History in 1951, both from Missouri. These two academic disciplines served him well professionally as well as in the baseball community. Davids received a Ph.D. in International Relations from Georgetown University in 1961.

    Dr. Davids began his 30-year Federal civilian career in Washington with the Department of Defense in 1951. From 1952 to 1958 he was Assistant Editor and later Editor of the Navy Civil Engineer Corps Bulletin. He served in April 1953 as the Navy information officer for Operation Hardtop, a Navy Seabee experiment to build an airfield runway on the icecap of northern Greenland. The technique of packing snow into a runway was used later in Operation Deepfreeze in the Antarctic. While in the Arctic, he traveled with the Danish Governor of North Greenland and the Commander of the Thule Air Base to an Eskimo village a few miles north of the base. They met with Ootah, an Eskimo guide, to present a gift on behalf of the Navy Civil Engineer Corps. Ootah had accompanied Admiral Robert E. Peary, who was a Civil Engineer, Matthew Henson, and three other Eskimos on the 1909 expedition to reach the North Pole. An interview was conducted with the 78-year-old Eskimo, and photos taken to record the meeting. At the time of his death two years later, Ootah was the last survivor of the expedition.

    Dr. Davids transferred to the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in 1958. There he served as a technical reports officer and later as a long-range planning officer. In 1964 he helped compile presidential documents on nuclear energy for the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library.

    In late 1968 Davids received a Congressional Fellowship and spent the next year working in the offices of Senator Mark Hatfield and Representative Robert Taft, Jr. Davids wrote speeches and helped prepare legislation during his Fellowship. He traveled with Taft and Representative Wilmer Mizell (a retired major league pitcher who had toiled for the Cardinals, Pirates and briefly for the Mets) to Cincinnati in July 1969, where they participated in ceremonies commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first professional baseball team, the 1869 Red Stockings.

    Returning to AEC after his Fellowship ended in late 1969, Davids prepared the "Weekly Report to the White House." He also served as a speechwriter for two AEC chairmen, Glenn T. Seaborg and Dixie Lee Ray.

    When the agency was dissolved in 1975, Dr. Davids moved to one of its successors, the Energy Research and Development Administration, as Chief of the Special Projects Branch. In April and May 1977, he served as the head of the U.S. Secretariat at the International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Conference in Salzburg, Austria.

    Later that year he moved to the newly formed Department of Energy as the Special Events Coordinator. His work for this organization included coordinating government dedications of various energy facilities, as well as demonstrations of energy conservation measures. When the Reagan administration took office in 1981, policy changes dictated adjustments at the agency. The 55-year-old Dr. Davids retired from Federal Service at this time.

    Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper that began publishing in 1955, published many articles on Congressional history under Davids' byline between 1960 and 1975. He wrote about unusual topics that had not been published before, such as brothers, fathers and sons who served at the same time in Congress; the first women in Congress; and the story of the only time a U.S. Vice President took the oath of office in a foreign country.

    Davids wrote many free-lance baseball articles for The Sporting News (TSN) between 1951 and 1965. The first appeared in December 1951. Among the pieces to appear under Davids' name were a number of full-page features. Perhaps his most personally satisfying article was about his favorite player, Lou Gehrig. The article, written to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the end of Gehrig's consecutive games played streak in 1939, was published on May 16, 1964.

    Another full-page article for TSN centered on two-sport athletes. The article, which appeared in the November 16, 1963, issue, discussed the careers of persons who played both professional baseball and football. This piece combined two of Davids' interests, as he was also a member of the Professional Football Researchers Association (PFRA).

    In the mid-1960s, TSN reduced its coverage of baseball in order to expand its coverage of other sports. This meant Davids lost his outlet for historical baseball articles and needed to find another for the research he continued to do.

    A few years later, Davids decided to create his own publication, a monthly newsletter called Baseball Briefs. The first edition of this newsletter appeared in April 1971 and contained short articles on interesting baseball topics. Its masthead showed the graphically produced title "baseball" and noted that it was "volume 1, number 1." The graphic used bats as the two L's and a combination of a bat and ball for the two B's in the word "baseball."

    The first article in Baseball Briefs was about the American League. It read, in part: "The American League opened as a major circuit 70 years ago this month and the only player who still survives that inaugural is little Freddie Parent, shortstop of the Boston Red Sox. Now 95, he is living in a nursing home in Sanford, Maine. Parent did not miss a game from the April 26, 1901 opener to September 26, 1903, making him the first iron man of the AL with 413 consecutive games."

    Other briefs in that first issue showed the extent of Davids' knowledge and sense of humor, with eye-catching opening lines: "Batter strikeouts continue to go up like the Consumer Price Index"; "Frank Howard of the Nats is the only active player who can hit his weight and still have a respectable batting average (.280)"; "Base stealing, like crime in general, is increasing and is also getting more difficult to curb"; and "Jim Bunning now has the unenviable record of being taken out of more games than any other pitcher in major league history."

    Davids published Baseball Briefs monthly during the baseball season from 1971 through 1974. In 1975, SABR decided to include the Briefs in a member newsletter not under Davids' control, but that effort failed after a few months. At this point the Briefs disappeared for a few years. Most of Davids' writing at that time was devoted to editing the various SABR publications, so Baseball Briefs was not issued again until 1981, now as a season-end summary. In its last manifestation, the Briefs were included in the SABR Bulletin annually from 1989 through 2000.

    On Davids' 45th birthday, March 19, 1971, he mailed approximately 35 invitations to a meeting in Cooperstown, New York. The addressees included persons interested in baseball history and statistical research, for whom Davids used the term "statistorians." He compiled his mailing list from names he saw in The Sporting News "appended to an interesting historical or statistical article," as he said in the letter, and from names given him by a number of other baseball historians.

    This was an effort to organize the unknown quantity of baseball statistorians into a formal group. The initial letter read in part:

    "What would be accomplished at the Cooperstown meeting? From general to specific, your attendance would provide an opportunity (1) to see Cooperstown and the always changing Hall of Fame Museum; (2) to meet and exchange first hand views with other statistorians; (3) to review specific areas of baseball interest to avoid duplication of effort; (4) to establish an informal group primarily for exchange of information; or (5) to establish a formal organization with officers, dues, a charter, annual meetings, etc.; (6) to consider the establishment of a publication in which our research efforts could be presented; and (7) to take up additional matters which you may suggest in response to this letter."

    The letter continued with an example of Davids' humor.

    "What do you do now? You should send me a note saying something along the lines of (1) 'Your idea of a get-together of the baseball statistorians sounds great, I would like to attend; (2) I am interested in your efforts to organize the group, would like to be included but cannot get away for a meeting at Cooperstown this summer; or (3) your plans for an organization are completely impossible; take me off your mailing list, quick.'"

    Cliff Kachline, the Baseball Hall of Fame Historian, offered the Hall's library for the meeting. The induction ceremonies that year were held on August 9 and featured many players elected by the Veterans' and Negro Leagues Committees but none elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America. It is interesting that only players from older eras were inducted in the year that baseball historians gathered in Cooperstown.

    On August 10, 1971, sixteen people from eleven states attended the meeting on a warm Tuesday in New York and established the SABR. Those 16 were representative of about 40 statistorians who had responded favorably to the concept of the organization. The group elected three officers, whose first task was to draft the first SABR constitution.

    In the SABR Bulletin No. 1, issued in August of that year, Bob wrote about the initial meeting: "Discussion of a name for the group centered around geographic coverage, a possible acronym, and a means of covering both the historical and statistical aspects of the group without a long title. It was generally agreed that the word research accomplished the latter. In regard to geographic scope, it was stated that American was broader than national. Society was preferred over association. Efforts to come up with a name resulting in a baseball acronym like RBI or something similar proved fruitless. Consequently, we became the Society for American Baseball Research."

    There was also a note in the first Bulletin about membership in the Society. Bob wrote: "In regard to membership application, some justification of the $10 fee may be in order. This figure may seem high to some and the question may be raised in individual minds 'what do I get for my $10?'" After a careful description of the benefits, Bob ended that item: "Membership (to paraphrase a current song) means never having to say you're sorry ... for not having joined."

    Davids was elected the first president of the organization. As of 2003, he was the only person to serve in that position multiple times, having held the office on three separate occasions (1971, 1975, and 1982-83.) In addition, Davids served as a member of SABR's Board of Directors for five years in two separate terms during the 1970s.

    Bob's expectation for SABR was that it would be "a cozy research group with its own publications." He ran the organization from his Northwest Washington, DC home for ten years, serving as Editor-in-Chief during that time. Publications included the bimonthly newsletter, The SABR Bulletin, and the annual Baseball Research Journal, as well as a membership directory. In those early years, once a publication was ready for distribution mailings were prepared by groups of SABR members in Bob's dining room. The group would talk about baseball, politics and other topics and eat cookies. Crumbs would often find their way into envelopes, sometimes accidentally and sometimes not.

    Davids welcomed articles for SABR's publications and meeting presentations covering a wide range of topics, including the Negro Leagues. This was well before commercial publishing houses accepted works about the Negro Leagues.

    In the 1980s, SABR grew beyond what the charter members imagined as interest in baseball increased. Publishers were buying many more works on the history of baseball, and this helped generate the rapid growth of the organization that took it beyond the "cozy research group" envisioned by the founders.

    On November 4, 1974, twelve members and two guests from the Washington, DC, area met at the home of Ron Gabriel in Chevy Chase, Maryland. This was the first time that a regional group within SABR met formally. The Washington-Baltimore chapter has continued to meet at least once a year since that first event. It was renamed the "Bob Davids Chapter" in 1992 by a vote of the chapter members over the strong objection of its namesake.

    For many years, Dr. Davids spent hours at the Library of Congress doing research on his favorite topics in baseball and other areas. Bob would spend many Saturdays and even lunch hours during the week at the Library, where he had a favorite microfilm machine that he used. Local researchers knew that they could go to the Library on most Saturdays and find Bob there. Interesting discussions often ensued about baseball and other items of interest. As he did everywhere he went, Davids developed friendships with people whom he met at the Library, including one woman who had escaped the Nazis during World War II.

    Davids also took semi-annual trips to Cooperstown to do research at the Hall of Fame Library. His usual companion on these journeys was another founding member of SABR, Bob McConnell. The two Bobs, sometimes referred to by other members as "Bob Squared," also roomed together at SABR conventions. They are officially listed in SABR history as members #1 and #2.

    Davids' research and clippings were not limited to baseball history. Among other lists he kept were a roster of the first 500 SABR members with member number, date joined and hometown; the first women to join the organization; and the first members by state and foreign country. For many years, Bob wrote "SABR Salutes," which were tributes to members published in the membership directory. They gave a brief synopsis of that person's contributions to SABR and baseball history.

    Davids contributed information for sports fact boxes in multiple newspapers through the years. He was a regular contributor to the Washington Post's "Stat of the Day" and the Chicago Sun-Times' "Sports Fact." These contributions were similar to the pieces he wrote for Baseball Briefs. He wrote an extended article on the history of the designated hitter for the April 7, 1993, edition of USA Today Baseball Weekly on the 20th anniversary of the first use of the DH.

    In 1985, the SABR Board of Directors established the "Bob Davids Award," which is awarded annually to a SABR member "whose contributions to SABR and baseball reflect the ingenuity, integrity, and self-sacrifice of the founder and past president of SABR, L. Robert 'Bob' Davids." It is awarded each year at the annual convention and is considered the Society's highest honor.

    At the time of his death, Davids was the only person to have attended all 31 annual SABR conventions. In addition to SABR 31, he attended two other official SABR events in 2001. When the organization celebrated its 30th birthday with a gathering in Cooperstown in August, Bob was at the center of the celebration and cut the birthday cake for all to enjoy. Appropriately, his last SABR event was a meeting of the Bob Davids Chapter in November 2001. He had attended all chapter meetings up to that time.

    In addition to his keen interest in baseball history, Davids was also interested in other sports. He was a member of the Professional Football Researchers Association (PFRA). According to Bob Carroll, Executive Director of PFRA, although Davids "wasn't present at the PFRA organizational meeting in 1979, he was supportive from the beginning. He joined as soon as the organization was announced. Because his reputation for legitimate sports research was so strong, his membership encouraged others to join PFRA. Over the years, he would send advice, suggestions, and tidbits of information."

    Carroll continued: "Obviously his main interest was baseball, but he had a good knowledge of football history, and my impression was that he was conversant with other sports. I've never heard anyone say anything negative about Bob."

    Davids published one byline article in PFRA's official newsletter/magazine, The Coffin Corner. It appeared in volume 9 number 7 (1987) and was titled "23 Guys with Hobbies." This was the year that Bo Jackson decided to follow his baseball season playing for the Royals with football for the Raiders. Davids wrote about the 23 persons who had attempted the dual sports roles in the same year and the article's title is another example of Bob's dry humor.

    Dr. Davids was also a member of the International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO). This interest in boxing started as a young man. The Davids brothers were interested in boxing and, in fact, one of his brothers acquired the nickname "Sharkey" after his favorite pugilist. As an adult, Bob maintained a correspondence with heavyweight champ Max Schmeling for years.

    Davids married Yvonne Revier, a Pentagon administrative assistant, on June 13, 1953. They had one daughter, Roberta Davids Hagen and two grandsons, Edward and John.

    Dr. Davids also was a good neighbor and a kind pet owner. He loved walking through the neighborhood with his dogs. His favorite was a 125-pound gray Bouvier nicknamed Bob-Dog. On his strolls, he would take errant newspapers and toss them on the owners' porch and perform other acts of kindness.

    He was actively involved in numerous community activities. After arriving in Washington in 1953, he was an active member of the Washington Christian Reformed Church until 1969 when he helped to organize its daughter church in Silver Spring. Once the new church was established, he served as head usher from 1969 to 2002 and as a deacon for a short time.

    From 1967 to 1987, he was the commissioner of the Washington-area Church Fellowship Softball League. He was a frequent blood donor, having donated 91/2 gallons to the American Red Cross prior to undergoing triple heart bypass surgery in 1982. He prepared and served meals at Shepherd's Table in Silver Spring from 1988 to 2002.

    In 1992, Davids was diagnosed with bladder cancer and underwent many years of chemotherapy for that disease. On the evening of February 3, 2002, he took some newspapers out the back door to the recycle bin but fell as he walked down the stairs. At the insistence of his family, he went to Sibley Hospital the next day to be examined. The doctor thought he discovered a kidney stone and decided surgery was in order. However, the surgical team discovered that there were no stones but that the cancer had taken over much of Bob's body.

    Davids died in the hospital on February 10, 2002. He was buried on February 20, 2002, at Arlington National Cemetery with military honors in section 33, grave 8910. The numerology of the burial date is one that Bob would have loved as a possible topic for one of his warm-up quizzes: 02202002.

    A term that has gone out of vogue is "Renaissance Man," meaning someone who is an expert in many fields. Bob Davids certainly represented that concept well. He was interested in baseball, boxing, football, politics, Congress, the Presidency, longevity (reaching the age of 80 or above), and coin and stamp collecting, among other topics. He knew a lot about each of these subjects and often tied them together while writing interesting articles.

    In addition, Bob was a kind person - someone who made everyone feel important. He was generous with his time and knowledge and helped many researchers when they did not have the facilities available to do their own fact checking. Much of his time at the library was spent helping others with their research.

    Bob Savitt, the president of SABR's Bob Davids Chapter at the time of Davids' death, said: "Bob was one of those 'larger than life' persons whose wit, wisdom and love blanketed all who came in contact with him."

    SABR has enriched the lives of many people through the friendships made, the events attended, and the lessons learned. Thus, Bob Davids' legacy lives on in the organization he founded and the many people whose lives he enhanced. (The Baseball Biography Project, by David Vincent.)
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-04-2013, 02:11 PM.


    • David John Nightingale

      Born: February 7, 1935, Blue Island, IL
      Died: April 11, 2007, Robinson, IL, age 72,---d. Wednesday in Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson, Ill., of pneumonia. Suffered massive heart attack at his home.

      Chicago sports writer;
      Worth, IL, 5-year old, (April 12, 1940 census)
      Dixon Evening Telegraph,
      Rockford Morning Star,
      Chicago Daily News, night editor / reporter, 1961 - March, 1978 (assigned the White Sox beat in July, 1966)
      Chicago Tribune, ? - 1981
      Sporting News.

      Father: Vincent F., born Illinois, August 12, 1910, died January 11, 2000, Louisville, KY; Mother: Mary F. Krueger, born Illinois, around 1914; Wife: Margot J. (Allison), born July 4, 1935, Robinson, IL, died April 20, 2001, Robinson, IL, Dave married Margot June 23, 1956; Second Wife: Rebecca L. (Tennyson) Roth.

      Dave Nightingale began covering sports in high school and continued at the University of Illinois, where he was sports editor of the Daily Illini before graduating in 1956. After two years as sports editor of the Dixon Evening Telegraph and three years writing for the Rockford Morning Star, he joined the Chicago Daily News staff in 1961, working as a night editor and reporter in the sports department until being assigned the Chicago White Sox beat in July 1966. In addition, Nightingale wrote a column from 1973 until the paper closed in March 1978. He returned to the baseball beat with the Chicago Tribune until 1981 and then wrote for The Sporting News.

      Mr. Nightingale could be tough on players and coaches in his writing but never ducked them the next day in the clubhouse. "He wasn't from the cookie-cutter school of journalism," said Tribune baseball writer David Van Dyck. "He was a great newspaper guy, he worked hard at it, he had inside guys that he knew."

      Though baseball was his specialty, Mr. Nightingale covered every sport during his career. "He was very versatile and a good writer, a very fast writer," said Ray Sons, sports editor with the Daily News. "He was very sure of himself. No assignment fazed him."

      On road trips, Mr. Nightingale would always find a French restaurant for dinner, dragging along colleagues who would have been just as happy with a hot dog. Despite the many late nights, Mr. Nightingale was an early-riser and a fierce competitor, even during baseball's spring training in Florida. "He would get up so early, I'd open the drapes and he'd be heading off to the ballpark already," said former Sun-Times baseball writer Joe Goddard.

      When the Daily News closed, the Sun-Times hired many of its sportswriters, but not Nightingale. "He was just crushed," recalled Sons. Nonetheless, Nightingale would quickly find employment with the rival Tribune. There he would remain until 1981, at which point he became the first national correspondent for The Sporting News (a significant employment upgrade for Nightingale both in terms of stability and exposure). A nationally syndicated columnist, Nightingale frequently served as official scorer at World Series and All-Star Games.

      After his 1995 retirement to Robinson, Illinois, Nightingale, along with his wife, became actively involved in the local James Jones Literary Society. He served as its president in 2004; in addition, he continued to write freelance articles on golf and continued to be a voting member of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-04-2013, 02:03 PM.


      • Percy Hollister Whiting

        Born: April 10, 1880, Great Barrington, MA
        Died: August 7, 1967, Montrose, AL, age 87,---d. after a long illness.

        Southern sports editor;
        Great Barrington, MA, medical student, (June 6, 1900 census)
        Kirkwood, GA, foreman, spring fasting, (April 27, 1910 census)
        Augusta, ME, advertising manager, public company, (January 8, 1920 census)
        Dallas, TX, President of Company, Investments, (April 8, 1930 census)
        Houston, TX, instructor, public school teacher, (April 8, 1940 census)
        Altanta Georgian

        Father: John, born Massachusetts, September, 1853; Mother: Anne L., born Massachusetts, February, 1855; Wife 1: Elise P., born Tennessee, around 1882; Son: Percy Hollister, Jr., born Georgia, around 1910; Wife: Gene

        Percy H. Whiting was an American author, newspaper reporter, sports editor, advertising writer, salesman, and professional speaker. From Chappaqua, New York, he rose to become Vice President of Dale Carnegie & Associates. He dedicated each of his books to his wife Gene.
        Sports editor on newspapers in Nashville and Memphis, TN., and Atlanta, Ga., 1902-13; Comfort (mail order magazine), Augusta, Me., advertising manager, 1913-18; Central Maine Power Co., Augusta, Me., manager of securities department, 1918-23; Henry L. Doherty & Co., New York, N.Y., general retail sales manager, securities department, 1923-27; P. H. Whiting & Co., Inc., New York, N.Y., president, 1927-32; W. R. Bull & Co., New York, N.Y., vice-president, 1933-37; Dale Carnegie Institute, New York, N.Y., began 1937, managing director, 1943-52, managing director of Dale Carnegie Sales Courses, 1952-60.

        Family: Born April 10, 1880, in Great Barrington, MA; died in August 1967, in Montrose, AL; son of John Fred (a druggist) and Annie Louise (Hitchcock) Whiting; married Elise Warren Polk, 1909; married second wife, Genevieve Bearmore, October 19, 1946; children: (first marriage) Percy H., Jr., Dorothy Polk (Mrs. T. G. Howland). Education: Attended Harvard University, 1898-99, and Vanderbilt University, 1900-02. Politics: Republican. Religion: Episcopal. Memberships: Sales and Marketing Executives of Mobile, New York Sales Executive Club (charter member).

        ----------------------------------------Sporting News' obituary, September 2, 1967, pp. 44.
        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-04-2013, 01:55 PM.


        • Ernest A. Roberts---AKA Ernie Roberts

          Born: February 26, 1921, Massachusetts
          Died: March 23, 2009, June Beach, FL, age 88

          Boston sports editor;
          Boston, MA, 9-year old, (April 8, 1930 census)
          Danvers, MA, Kitchen helper, janitor work, (April 6, 1940 census)
          Boston Globe, college sports editor, 1950 - 1960
          Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH), sports information director, 1960 - 1966
          Boston Globe, sports editor, April 11, 1966 - 1983

          Father: Edward Eugene Roberts, born Connecticut, December 27, 1885, died Danvers, MA, May 6, 1961; Mother: Helen Denshan (Nicol), born Massachusetts, April, 1895, died August 3, 1991; Wife: Mildred (Midi) (Wooster).

          Ernie Roberts helped put together what many viewed as a dream team of sports writers at the Globe.

          Ernie Roberts, the Boston Globe sports icon who served as Dartmouth's sports information director from 1960-66, has died at age 88. Except for the stint in Hanover, Roberts was with the Globe from 1947-83, hiring among others Bob Ryan, Leigh Montville, Peter Gammons, Dan Shaughnessy, Will McDonough, Joe Concannon, John Powers, Ray Fitzgerald and Bud Collins. He was the Globe's evening sports editor, sports editor and executive sports editor.

          The former sports editor of the Boston Globe, Mr. Roberts was a member of Bar Harbor Golf Course, the Friends of Taunton Bay and a number of professional journalist organizations throughout New England.

          He is survived by his wife, Midi Wooster Roberts; his sons, Jonathan and Nicholas; his daughter, Jean; and four grandchildren.
          Boston Globe obituary, March 24, 2009, pp. 14, by Bryan Marquard.
          Good morning!
          That's how Ernie Roberts started his Saturday sports columns for The Boston Globe, 394 of them. Then he would tell readers what somebody - a colleague or a coach, a player or a friend - liked to eat for breakfast.

          "I'm a guy who used to eat Grape-Nuts every morning," he wrote in his last Saturday column on May 28, 1983. "Then, desperate for an opener, I tried a gimmick lead one June Saturday in 1974 - `Good morning! Let's start with ice grapefruit juice, then scrambled eggs and link sausage.' That struck a responsive chord with the readers and got me into the breakfast business. I was hooked."

          So were his readers, many of whom never knew he was more than just the columnist they read to greet the weekend. As evening sports editor, then sports editor, then executive sports editor, Mr. Roberts either hired or cultivated the writers and columnists who turned the newspaper's sports section into a national powerhouse.

          "The Globe sports department that gained great fame and glory in the '70s, '80s, and '90s would not have taken the form or shape it did without Ernie Roberts, because Ernie recognized talent," said Globe sports columnist Bob Ryan. "He liked writers."

          Mr. Roberts, who as a writer could tap out a column as deftly as he tapped in a putt at one of the golf courses he loved, died yesterday morning in Palm Beach, Fla., of complications of a stroke he suffered several days ago. He was 88 and had lived nearby in Juno Beach.

          "He's probably more responsible for making the Globe sports section great than any other individual," said Globe sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy.

          Mr. Roberts held another, less heralded distinction. He was the first Northeastern University co-op student hired by the Globe's sports department. Joining the sports staff officially a year after graduating from Northeastern, he stayed until retiring in 1983, minus a stint as sports information director at Dartmouth College from 1960 to 1966.

          He started at the Globe in 1947, an auspicious year that marked the second and last time Ted Williams won baseball's Triple Crown, topping the American League in home runs, runs batted in, and batting average.

          Truth be told, though, Mr. Roberts was more interested in golf and college sports, particularly college football, and his years at Dartmouth served him well. By reading the work of sports reporters around New England, he knew where to look for new talent when he returned to the Globe as sports editor for the evening edition.

          "It's kind of forgotten now that you could actually look for someone in your own neighborhood to work for the paper," said Leigh Montville, a former Globe sports columnist and former senior writer at Sports Illustrated whom Mr. Roberts had hired.

          A congenial boss, Mr. Roberts "was a nice man, a gentleman, an easy guy to work for," Ryan said.
          "He was probably the only person I've ever known in my entire life who had zero enemies," said Mr. Roberts's son, Jonathan of Newburyport. "It's really remarkable."

          Mr. Roberts was also a mentor to aspiring sportswriters, evaluating their work and helping to guide their early careers by suggesting potential jobs they could take en route to the Globe.

          One such apprentice was Shaughnessy during his days as a student at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester.

          "I was at Holy Cross, and he was very encouraging," said Shaughnessy. "He hired me as a correspondent. I would send him stories, and he would rewrite them, send them back, and tell me, `This is how you should do it.' He was very patient and a good teacher."

          At the Globe, meanwhile, Mr. Roberts and other editors put together what many viewed as a dream team of writers. Along with Ryan and Montville, there were Bud Collins, Joe Concannon, Ray Fitzgerald, Peter Gammons, Will McDonough, and John Powers.

          "As time goes by, I think it's looked at as one of the golden sports departments in America, if not the," Montville said. "Gammons was covering baseball, and he was the best baseball writer in the country, Ryan was covering basketball, and he was the best basketball writer in the country, Collins was the best tennis writer in the country, and Willie was the best football writer."

          Ryan said Mr. Roberts created an atmosphere that "allowed writers to be creative, and I'm grateful for that." Speaking of the years when Thomas Winship was editor of the Globe, Ryan added that "the paper in general under Tom Winship was known as a writer's paper, and the sports department was Exhibit A."

          Mr. Roberts grew up in Danvers, graduating from Danvers High School in 1939. His studies at Northeastern were interrupted by World War II, when he served in the US Army Air Corps as a navigator. He told his family he was returning from a bombing mission in northern Japan when he heard the war had ended.

          While working a summer job in Bar Harbor, Maine, Mr. Roberts met Mildred Wooster Roberts, who is known as Midi.

          "He called his job `pot walloper,' which I think was his term for dishwasher, and my mother was a waitress," their son said. "They got married in 1949 and would have been married 60 years in June."
          For much of the past quarter-century, Mr. Roberts divided his time between Maine and Florida, golfing whenever possible.

          He held memberships at country clubs in Cohasset, Florida, and Maine, writing occasional freelance stories for the Globe in retirement, usually about golf.

          Followers of his column learned that he sampled each breakfast he mentioned, and that his favorite was "corned beef hash with a thin slice of mild cheese melted slowly over the top, English muffin with strawberry jam." That tip came from a colleague in the Globe's advertising department.

          He signed off his final Saturday column with a simple "Adieu folks. Don't burn the toast."

          In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Roberts leaves a daughter, Jean of Dayton, Maine; another son, Nicholas of Atlanta; a sister, Corrine Begin of Peabody; and four grandchildren.

          His family plans to hold a private memorial service in the summer.
          Credit: Bryan Marquard, Globe Staff; The Boston Globe, March 24, 2009.
          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-04-2013, 01:22 PM.


          • Robert S. Elliott---AKA Bob Elliott

            Born: May 31, 1910, Ohio
            Died: March 12, 1989, Miami, FL, age 78,---d. respiratory failure at Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables, FL.

            Miami sports editor;
            Marion Ward 3, OH, 8-year old, (January 29, 1920 census)
            Akron, OH, newspaper, sports writer, (April 8, 1940 census)
            Lived Canton, OH in 1935.
            Newspaper sports writer / editor, 1928 - 1942
            Miami Herald, executive sports editor, 1942 - 1975
            President of the Florida State sports writers, 1957

            Father: Harry S. Elliott, born Ohio, around 1885; Mother: Dorothy, born Ohio, around 1888; Harry was newspaper editor.

            Miami Herald obituary, March 17, 1989, pp. 1D Sports.
            Robert E. "Bob" Elliott, the first executive sports editor at The Miami Herald, has died of respiratory failure. He was 78. Mr. Elliott retired in 1975 after 47 years as a sports writer and editor, 33 of them at The Herald. Mr. Elliott, who died Saturday at Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables, inherited a Herald sports section that was experiencing growing pains, with much space to fill and little resources. Mr. Elliott stepped in and "did a lot.

            Sporting News' obituary, April 3, 1989, pp. 45.
            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-04-2013, 12:58 PM.


            • Charles Lyman Parsons---AKA Poss Parsons

              Born: May 3, 1892, Mason City, Iowa
              Died: August 26, 1942, Helgen Lake, Montana, age 52,---d. heart attack and a hemorrhage of the lungs.

              Denver sports writer;
              Iowa City, IA, 8-year old, (June 8, 1900 census)
              Iowa Ward 4, IA, 16-year old, (April 29, 1910 census)
              Colorado Springs, CO, Director, college athletics, (January 3, 1920 census)
              Denver, CO, newspaper, editor, (April 18, 1930 census)
              Denver, CO, newspaper, editor, (April 5, 1940 census)
              Graduated University of Iowa, (engineering degree)
              WWI, Engineer Corps.
              Colorado College, coach, October 9, 1922 - 1923 (football analyst)
              Denver Post, sports writer, 1922 - August 3, 1929; sports editor, August 4, 1929 - April 12, 1941.
              Denver KOA radio, sports announcer, September 3, 1941 - 1942

              Father: Manuel Clair, born Iowa, April, 1869; Mother: Louella, born Iowa, September, 1870; Wife: Isabella, born Illinois, November 23, 1893, died Denver, CO, March, 1968, ; Son: 1st. Lieut. Charles Lyman Parsons, Jr., born Denver, CO, January 8, 1921, died Denver, CO, January 5, 2006.

              Colorado Sports Hall of Fame: Class of 1982: Charles "Poss" Parsons
              Charles Lyman "Poss" Parsons, sports editor of The Denver Post for 19 years, was the first member of the media to be inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.

              He was inducted posthumously in 1982.

              Parsons, one of the Rocky Mountain area’s best-known sports figures of his time, died August 26, 1942 at the age of 50. He served The Post’s sports department from 1922-1941.

              During his tenure at The Post, Parson’s directed The Denver Post semipro baseball tournament, “The Little World Series of the West” and forerunner of the then fledgling National Baseball Congress.

              Besides coaching football at both Colorado Mines and Colorado College, Parsons served as a starter for all major track events, and, as an administrator for the Rocky Mountain Amateur Athletic Union, was instrumental in bringing the National AAU Track and Field meet to the University of Denver in 1929 and the National AAU Basketball tournaments here from 1935 through 1941.

              He also assisted in acquiring the U.S. Open golf championship at the Cherry Hills Country Club in 1938, the first time the event was played west of Chicago.

              Born on May 3, 1892 in Mason City, Iowa, he attended Iowa City High School where he attracted statewide notice in football, basketball and track.

              He subsequently became the first track athlete in the history of the University of Iowa to win nine sports letters.

              He was twice chosen All-Big Ten Conference as a guard in basketball and a tailback in football. He also established the Big Ten record in the 440-yard dash, a mark that held up for considerable time.

              After his graduation (with a degree in engineering), Parsons coached football at Trinity College in Sioux City until 1916 when he left to enter the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant and served throughout World War I in the Engineer Corps.

              It was after his discharge from the Army that he came west to coach at Colorado Mines. In 1920, he left to take a similar job at Colorado College.

              Frederick G. Bonfils, publisher and co-founder of The Denver Post was impressed with Parsons’ overall capabilities and on October 9, 1922, managing editor William C. Shepherd hired Parsons as football analyst.

              Intensely interested in aviation, Parsons became the friend of several figures in the industry. It was through these associations that Parsons inaugurated a unique airplane tour of the football camps in the 12-school Rocky Mountain Conference. Today, these same trips are known as “skywriters” tours.

              The Rocky Mountain area then was not nationally known and Parsons went to great lengths to gain recognition for athletes from this area. Two of his special projects were achieving All-American football status for Earl “Dutch” Clark of Colorado College, and Byron “Whizzer” White of the University of Colorado.

              Parsons was probably proudest of the opportunity to ride as Lou Moore’s mechanic in the Indianapolis 500 in the days when they drove two-seaters. Moore was forced out of the race after 110 miles, but Parsons wrote a dramatic story of what it was like to participate in the famed Indy race.

              Parsons was a firm believer in the theory that good athletes made good citizens and was ever willing to lend a helping hand to further the interest of sports in this area.

              Leonard Cahn, retired Rocky Mountain News sports writer, worked 14 years under Parsons at The Post prior to his 34 years at the News.

              “As an authority on all sports, I don’t think we ever had anybody who had the knowledge of Poss – not as a participant, but as a coach, then a writer, then as an administrator. If any one man has the credentials to become the first news media man to be inducted by the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, it’s Poss Parsons.

              Ralph Moore, Denver Post Sports Writer, circa 1982.
              Sporting News' obituary, September 3, 1942, pp. 8.

              Ogden Standard-Examiner obituary (Ogden, Utah), Thursday, August 27, 1942, pp. 14.
              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-04-2013, 12:13 PM.


              • ---------------------------------------
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                • -----------------------------------------
                  Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-05-2012, 12:25 PM.


                  • William Victor Gallo---AKA Bill Gallo

                    Born: December 28, 1922, NYC
                    Died: May 10, 2011, Yonkers, NY---d. Tuesday, complications from pneumonia at White Plains Hospital.

                    New York sports cartoonist / sports columnist;
                    Queens, NY, 7-year old, (April 23, 1930 census)
                    Queens, NY, 17-year old, (April 17, 1940 census)
                    New York Daily News, sports cartoonist, 1941 - 2006
                    WWII, US Marines, (Pacific sector), 1942

                    Father: Frank, born Spain around 1898, died around 1933; Mother: Henrietta, born Spain, around 1901; Wife: Dolores; Son: Gregory; Son: William V., Jr.; His father was a newspaper printer.

                    William (Bill) Gallo was born in Manhattan on December 28,1922, the son of Frank and Henrietta Gallo. His father was a newspaperman who died at the young age of 36 when William was 11 years old.

                    Young Gallo’s fondest dreams were to follow in his father’s footsteps, hoping to pursue a career as a newspaperman. “As long as I can remember, printer’s ink was a part of me,” he says. He studied art in high school and after graduation applied for a copyboy’s job in every newspaper (there were eight at that time in New York City). He landed a job on the New York Daily News in 1941, where he remained for seven months until he answered Uncle Sam’s call, joined the United States Marine Corps, and went off to war.

                    He served with distinction as a member of the Fourth Marine Division for four years, seeing action in Roi-Namur (Kwajelin Islands), Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima. When the war ended he returned to the New York Daily News as a “picture clerk” in the caption/art department.

                    In 1960 he was transferred to the sports department, and here he began his illustrious career as a sports columnist. It was here, also, that he was to develop such well known characters as “Basement Bertha, “Yuchie,” “Bernie the Bulgarian,” “Penthouse Polly,” “General Von Steingrabber” and “Two Kids Talkin’ Sports”-familiar personalities to hundreds of thousands of readers.

                    Bill Gallo’s fame as a cartoonist spread throughout the nation and in the following years his creativity brought him many honors, awards and citations. He is the five-time recipient of the coveted “ Reuben,” awarded by the National Cartoonist Society for excellence in the sports category. He has won the Page One Journalism Award from the New York Newspaper Guild sixteen times. Among his other prestigious honors is the Power of Printing Award, the Segar Award as the outstanding cartoonist in 1975 and the Achievement Award for Alumni from the School of Visual Arts. He has also won fame as an authority in boxing and his colleagues have honored him with the James J. Walker Award. He is also the recipient of the Champions Award from the Downtown Athletic Club.

                    Bill Gallo is married to Dolores and they have two sons. The oldest, Gregory is the sports editor of the New York Post, while Bill, Jr. is the Steeplechase Racing Secretary at the Belmont Racetrack.

                    Gallo, who is currently marking his 23rd year as a cartoonist-columnist for the New York Daily News, moved his family to the City of Yonkers some 25 years ago. His more than 5,000 cartoons and his innumerable sports columns have brought much honor and prestige not only to him and to his family, but also to his profession and to the City of Yonkers as well.

                    -----------2009: Yogi Berra/Bill Gallo

                    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------2009: Bill Gallo/Burt Sugar

                    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1967: Manhattan's Gallaghers Steakhouse:Bill Gallo/Whitey Ford/Gene Ward.

                    1996: Bill Gallo/Joe DiMaggio-----------------------------w/wife, Dolores, 2004------------------------------2001
                    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-04-2013, 11:32 AM.


                    • David Francis Egan---AKA Dave Egan

                      Born: August 31, 1901, Newport, RI
                      Died: May 21, 1958, Wakefield, MA, age 57,---d. heart attack at home. Buried: Forest Glade Cemetery, Wakefield, MA.

                      Boston sports writer;
                      Newport, RI, 8-year old, (April 18, 1910 census)
                      Newport, RI, 18-year old, (January 3, 1920 census)
                      Newport, RI, newspaper, boxing editor, (April 4, 1930 census)
                      Wakefield, MA, newspaper columnist, (April 7, 1940 census)
                      Graduated Rogers HS (Newport, RI), 1919, Won Excellence in Scholarship award
                      Graduated Harvard Law School (Cambridge, MA), 1925
                      Graduated Harvard College, highest honors
                      Boston Globe, 1926
                      Boston American, staff reporter,
                      PR director, Holyoke, MA arena
                      Boston Daily Record, sports colummist, boxing editor, 1936
                      PR director of Rockingham race track (Salem, NH)

                      Father: William P., born July, 1864, Maine; Mother: Agnes G., born Wales, February, 1874; Wife: Verda Fitzgerald; Son: David, Jr., born December 25, 1943, died November, 1972; Wife: Mary, born Massachusetts, around 1913;

                      Mr. Egan was extremely critical of Tom Yawkey in his column for not integrating the Red Sox. He was honored by the NAACP. For many years, he was the PR director for the Rockingham race track at Salem, NH.

                      Newport Daily News' (Newport, RI) obituary, May 21, 1958, pp. 1.

                      1946, Boston, MA: L-R: Dave Egan, Chuck Connors, George Kennedy, Bennie Drohan.
                      This was probably taken when Connors played for the Boston Celtics.

                      Sporting News' obituary,--------------------------------------Dave Egan/Wendell Smith, 1958.
                      May 28, 1958, pp. 36.
                      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-04-2013, 11:06 AM.


                      • Earl J. Hilligan

                        Born: October 17, 1906, Bessemer, MI
                        Died: March 18, 1986, Elmhurst, IL, age 79,---d. Elmhusrt Memorial Hospital.

                        Chicago sports writer;
                        Attended University of Minnesota,
                        Graduated University of Michigan, 1930
                        Bessemer, MI, 3-year old, (April 16, 1910 census)
                        Bessemer, MI, 13-year old, (February 16, 1920 census)
                        Ann Arbor, MI newspaper reporter (Ann Arbor Daily News), (April 2, 1930 census)
                        (Chicago, IL, news service, sports writer (April 6, 1940 census)
                        Associated Press bureau (Detroit Office), 1933
                        Associated Press (Chicago Office), sports writer, September 15, 1936? 1937; Assistant sports editor, 1937 - 1941
                        American League Service Bureau, press bureau (Chicago Office), 1941 - 1957

                        Father: James C., born Wisconsin around 1866; Mother: Jane Elizabeth Ryan, born Wisconsin, around 1870; Wife Margaret, born Michigan, around 1911; Son: Thomas J., born Michigan, around 1936; Daughter: Kathy;

                        December 23, 1946: Chicago sports writers: L-R: John Hoffman, Dan Desmond, Herb Simons, John Carmichael, Jack Ryan, Earl Hilligan, Howard Roberts, Edgar Munzel, Chuck Chamberlain.

                        July 23, 1951: L-R: Ford Frick, Earl Hilligan, Jimmy Foxx, Tommy Richardson. At Jimmy Foxx' Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Cooperstown, NY.

                        Chicago Tribune obituary, March 18, 1986, pp. A7.

                        1956: Will Harridge / Earl Hilligan.
                        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-26-2013, 02:16 PM.


                        • Hunt Stromberg

                          Born: July 12, 1894, Louisville, KY
                          Died: August 23, 1968, Santa Monica, CA, age 74,---d.

                          St. Louis sports writer;
                          St. Louis, MO, 5-year old, (June 7, 1900 census)
                          Los Angeles, CA, Publicity for moving picture Corp., (January 7, 1920 census)
                          Beverly Hills, CA, Motion Pictures producer, (April 7, 1930 census)
                          Los Angeles, CA, Producer, Motion Pictures, (April 2, 1940 census)
                          Oklahoma, OK, advertising copy writer, (June 5, 1917, WWI Civilian Draft Registration)
                          St. Louis Times,
                          St. Louis Sporting News, stafff writer, 1913 - 1918

                          Father: Ben, born Ohio, September, 1861; Mother: Fanny, born Kentucky, August, 1863; Wife: Catherine, born Missouri around 1895.

                          Hunt was a Sporting News staff writer who quit in 1918 to work in the publicity department in New York for Samuel Goldwyn. He became rich.
                          Hunt Stromberg (July 12, 1894 - August 23, 1968) was a film producer during Hollywood's Golden Age. In a prolific 30-year career beginning in 1921, Stromberg produced, wrote, and directed some of Hollywood's most profitable and enduring films, including The Thin Man series, the Nelson Eddy/Jeanette MacDonald operettas, The Women, and The Great Ziegfeld, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1936.

                          Early career
                          Hunt Stromberg was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1894. Leaving a career as a newspaper reporter and sports writer for the St. Louis Times, he followed an advertising friend into the motion picture industry prior to World War I, becoming publicity director for the Goldwyn Pictures Corporation in New York around 1918.

                          In 1918 the company sent Stromberg to California, where he developed an interest in filmmaking; by 1919 he had become the personal representative of industry pioneer Thomas H. Ince, and by 1921 he had written, produced and directed his first film. He promptly resigned from Ince's staff to form Hunt Stromberg Productions.

                          Independent producer
                          From his first independent film, The Foolish Age (1921), Stromberg quickly made his mark by turning out independent, low budget films in increasing quantity and quality.

                          In 1922 Stromberg signed Bull Montana, a popular matinee idol, to a long-term contract to star in short comedies, and hired comedy director Mal St. Clair, who had worked with Mack Sennett and Buster Keaton. When Sid Grauman saw a rough cut of the resulting A Ladies' Man (1922), he immediately booked the film to premiere at his Million Dollar Theater in Los Angeles on April 30, 1922. Stromberg continued his string of successes with Breaking Into Society (1923), which he wrote, produced and directed.

                          Stromberg joined newly-formed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1925 and became one of its key executives, listed as one of the studio's "Big Four" with Louis B. Mayer, Irving Thalberg, and Harry Rapf—later with Thalberg, David O. Selznick, and Walter Wanger.

                          He was the first production supervisor to get a "produced by" credit on-screen, well deserved considering his achievements. He produced:
                          all of Jean Harlow's films
                          Joan Crawford's breakthrough films
                          Greta Garbo's first American film, Torrent (1926)
                          the Nelson Eddy/Jeanette MacDonald operetta cycle
                          the William Powell/Myrna Loy "Thin Man" series
                          as well as such prestige milestones as Academy Award winning The Great Ziegfeld (1936), Marie Antoinette (1938), The Women (1939), and Pride and Prejudice (1940). (See "Selected filmography" below.) At the height of his career, MGM was producing 52 films a year, or an average of one film a week, staying in the black despite the Great Depression.

                          Stromberg was one of the top ranked money makers of Hollywood, with a salary to match: US $8,000 a week, guaranteed. In 1937, he was included in management's inner circle and received an additional 1.5% of Loews Theaters profits. The Treasury Department listed Stromberg as one of the ten highest paid executives in the United States.

                          But there were substantial changes in those years. Thalberg died in 1936, while Selznick and Wanger left MGM in 1937, leaving Mayer in sole, hands-on control. There are conflicting interpretations of what caused the rift, but by the end of 1941 it was over: after 18 years Stromberg walked away from a contract worth millions, and Mayer let him go on February 10, 1942.

                          Independent again
                          "Hunt Stromberg was the first producer added to the Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers in 1942 after the group had been formed by Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Samuel Goldwyn, Alexander Korda, Mary Pickford, David O. Selznick, Walter Wanger, and Orson Welles."

                          Confounding industry expectations, Stromberg launched his own independent production company in 1943 with the smash hit Lady of Burlesque, starring Barbara Stanwyck, which grossed $1.85 million.

                          His subsequent films were not as successful and he finally retired in 1951, in the same year his wife, Katherine Kerwin, died. An avid horseman and a shrewd businessman, Stromberg was independently wealthy by this time as well as a founding investor in Santa Anita Park and Hollywood Park Racetracks.

                          Stromberg died on August 23, 1968. He was survived by his son Hunt Stromberg Jr., a Broadway and television producer in his own right.

                          As director or screenwriter
                          Roaring Rails (1924), screenwriter
                          Soft Shoes (1925), screenwriter
                          The White Sister (1933), director

                          With his wife.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sporting News' obituary, September 14, 1968, pp. 32.
                          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-04-2013, 10:33 AM.


                          • Stanley P. Isaacs---AKA Stan Isaacs

                            Born: April 22, 1929, Brooklyn, NY
                            Died:April 2, 2013, Haverford, PA, age 83,---d. at an assisted living facility.

                            New York sports writer; Jewish
                            Brooklyn, NY, 11-year old, (April 4, 1940 census)
                            Graduated Brooklyn College, 1950
                            Newsday, 1954 - 1994 (sports writer, feature columnist, sports media columnist

                            Father: Abraham, born New York, around 1907; Mother: Lillian, born New York, around 1908; Wife: Natalie Bobrove, died January, 2012; Daughter: Ellen; Daughter: Nancy Isaacs; Daughter: Ann Basch;

                            Stan Isaacs is a former Newsday sports columnist. He wrote the popular column “Out of Left Field” which won a National Headliners award. He collaborated with Marty Glickman on the Glickman autobiography, “The Fastest Kid on the Block.” He currently writes a column for the ESPNZone page on the internet. His acclaimed Isaacs Esoteric Ratings of Distinction (which include the famed Chocolate Ice Cream evaluations) appear every April in the Viewpoints section of Newsday. He is an Eastern District HS and Brooklyn College `50 alumnus. He had a one year National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship at Stanford U.

                            He reported on the pioneer Mets; was at ringside when Muhammad Ali won the heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston; covered the 1972 Olympics at Munich, his “worst experience in sports.” He instituted the first TV Sports column in New York. His reminiscences include stories about Jackie Robinson, Casey Stengel, Bill Veeck, Arthur Ashe, Jim Bouton, Yogi Berra, John Madden, Marv Albert and newspaper colleagues.

                            He lives in Roslyn Heights, N.Y., is married to Natalie Bobrove, a retired social worker, and has three daughters and four grandchildren.
                            Stan Isaacs (Sportswriter. Born, Brooklyn, Apr. 22, 1929.) As a sportswriter, columnist, sports editor, and observer of the world scene, Stan Isaacs consistently brought a sense of irreverence coupled with keen observation to his work. Isaacs started as a copy boy at the New York Star in 1949 while a student at Brooklyn College. He then moved to its successor, the Daily Compass (1950-52), where he began to cover the Yankees, Giants, Dodgers, Knicks, boxing, and other events. Isaacs went to Newsday as a sportswriter in 1954 and remained there in a variety of roles for 38 years. He became a columnist, sports editor (1971-72), feature columnist and sports media columnist.

                            Isaacs, along with Post writers Leonard Schechter and Larry Merchant (q.v.), was among the first of the so-called “chipmunk” school of writers who broke the hidebound conventions of sports coverage. Among his more humorous writings is the rating of just about everything in a column that always includes a world ranking of chocolate ice cream sodas. That column has continued to appear annually in Newsday even though Isaacs retired in 1994. In addition to numerous magazine pieces, Isaacs has done three books, including tomes with football great Jimmy Brown and broadcasting legend Marty Glickman. (The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel.)

                            JIM BROWN: The Golden Year 1964---1970
                            The Fastest Kid on the Block: The Marty Glickman Story, 1996
                            The Pages of My Mind, 2003
                            Ten Moments That Shook the Sports World: One Sportswriter's Eyewitness Accounts of the Most Incredible Sporting Events of the Past Fifty Years, 2008

                            March 4, 1959: New York sports writers in St. Petersburg, FL.
                            Top Row, L-R: Stan Isaacs, Dan Daniel, Tommy Holmes, Bill Dougerty, Len Schecter, Jim Ogle.

                            Bottom Row, L-R: John Drebinger, Jack Lang, Casey Stengel, Joe Trimble, Ken Smith, Til Ferdenzi.

                            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-04-2013, 10:14 AM.


                            • Leonard Schecter---AKA Len Schecter

                              Born: September 5, 1926, Bronx, NY
                              Died: January 19, 1974, New York, age 47,---d. Roosevelt Hospital of leukemia.

                              New York sports writer;
                              Bronx, NY, 3-year old, (April 5, 1930 census)
                              Bronx, NY, 13-year old, (April 9, 1940 census)
                              Graduated New York University,
                              New York Post, sports writer, ? - 1968 (copy boy, copy editor, night editor, general columnist, sports reporter, sports columnist)
                              freelance writer
                              Look magazine,

                              Father: Joseph, born Poland, around 1885; Mother: Dora, born Russia, around 1889; Wife: Virginia, born January 22, 1928, died November 12, 2007.

                              Leonard Schecter is probably most famous for editing Jim Bouton's book Ball Four. He also edited Bouton's second book I'm Glad You Didn't Take It Personally. Schecter was a sportswriter for the New York Post in the '60's when Bouton came up and wrote Roger Maris, a biography, and Once Upon the Polo Grounds, about the first two years of the New York Mets.

                              The Jocks: An Iconoclastic View of Sports in America,
                              Ball Four, by Jim Bouton, 1970
                              I'm Glad You Didn't Take It Personally, by Jim Bouton, 1971
                              Roger Maris: A Biography,
                              Once Upon the Polo Grounds: The Mets That Were, 1970
                              Love of All, 1964
                              On The Pad, by William Phillips, 1973

                              March 4, 1959: New York sports writers in St. Petersburg, FL.
                              Top Row, L-R: Stan Isaacs, Dan Daniel, Tommy Holmes, Bill Dougerty, Len Schecter, Jim Ogle.

                              Bottom Row, L-R: John Drebinger, Jack Lang, Casey Stengel, Joe Trimble, Ken Smith, Til Ferdenzi.

                              New York Times' obituary, January 20, 1974, pp. 56.
                              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-04-2013, 09:47 AM.


                              • Robert Fulton Kelley

                                Born: September 15, 1900, New Jersey
                                Died: December 14, 1975, Huntington, NY, age 75,---d. at Huntington Nursing Home (Long Island)

                                New York sports writer;
                                Plandome, NY, daily newspaper, sports writer, (April 9, 1930 census)
                                New York Post, 1920 -
                                New York Times, sports staff, 1926 - February, 1944
                                Metropolitan race track, publicity relations, 1945 - 1959

                                Father: born Massachusetts; Mother: born Ohio; Wife: Evelyn Chard, born New York, around 1900; Son: Robert F., Jr., born New Jersey, around 1924; Son: George C., born New Jersey, around 1925; Son: Michael.

                                Robert F. Kelley (Sportswriter. Born, Narragansett Pier, R.I., Sept. 15, 1900; died, Huntington, N.Y., Dec. 14, 1975.) Emerging as a man for many seasons, Robert Fulton Paul Anthony Kelley began his career at the New York Evening Post in 1920. Kelley covered horse racing, a little baseball, polo, yachting, and even the occasional football game. His knowledge of these wide-ranging events made him a valuable member of the staff. In 1926, he switched to The Times, starting an 18-year stint on West 43rd Street, during which he became more of a racing writer. Kelley became the publicist for the metropolitan area race tracks (Empire City, Belmont, Aqueduct, and Sarasota) in 1944. Two years later, when the tracks formally organized into a group, he was in charge of their public relations. This group became the New York Racing Association in 1955. Kelley was the first publicity director for the fledgling International Soccer League at the Polo Grounds in 1960 and spent part of the 1961 season with the A.F.L. Titans. In the final years of his working career, he was with the Thomas J. Deegan public relations firm in Rockefeller Center (1962-70). Among his tasks at Deegan was handling N.Y.R.A. assignments and getting the City to name the new municipal stadium in Corona for New York attorney William A. Shea. (The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel.)

                                New York Times' obituary, December 15, 1975, pp. 34.------------------------------Sporting News' obituary, January 3, 1976, pp. 47.
                                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-04-2013, 09:20 AM.


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