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  • Ralph Wiley

    Born: April 12, 1952, Memphis, TN
    Died: June 13, 2004, age 52

    Sports writer;
    Knoxville College, 1972 - 1975
    Oakland Tribune,

    Ralph Wiley (April 12, 1952 – June 13, 2004) was a sports journalist who wrote for various publications such as Sports Illustrated and's Page 2 section.

    Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Wiley attended Knoxville College from 1972–75, eventually landing his first professional journalism job at the Knoxville-Kayana Spectrum.

    Upon graduation, Wiley earned a position at the Oakland Tribune, where he coined the famous phrase "Billyball" to describe the managerial style of Billy Martin. He quickly climbed up the ranks from copyboy to beat writer and eventually became a regular columnist. In 1982, he was hired by Sports Illustrated, where he wrote 28 cover stories over a nine-year period, mainly about boxing, football, and baseball.

    Wiley published several books during the course of his career, including Serenity, A Boxing Memoir; Why Black People Tend To Shout; and By Any Means Necessary: The Trials and Tribulations of Making Malcolm X, with Spike Lee.

    Additionally, Wiley wrote articles for GQ, Premiere, and National Geographic. He was a weekly contributor to's Page 2, where he wrote more than 240 columns. His presence on TV included ESPN's The Sports Reporters and regular guest appearances on SportsCenter.

    In skirting the line between sports journalism and literary fiction, Wiley wrote many Page 2 articles in the third person, featuring discursive, jazz-inflected prose and dialogue conducted between himself and a fictionalized character whose identity the writer left deliberately obscure.

    Wiley died of a heart attack on June 13, 2004 while watching Game 4 of the 2004 NBA Finals. Survivors included his companion, Susan Peacock of Orlando; his mother, Dorothy Brown of Washington; a son from his marriage to Holly Cypress, Colen C. "Cole" Wiley; a daughter from his marriage to Monica Valdiviez, Magdalena Valdiviez-Wiley; and a half brother, Samuel Graham of Memphis.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-21-2013, 01:31 PM.


    • Lewis McDonald Grizzard, Jr.

      Born: October 20, 1946, Fort Benning, GA
      Died: March 20, 1994, Atlanta, GA, age 47,---d. of heart attack while playing golf.

      Sports writer;
      Attended University of Georgia (Athens, GA),
      Chicago Sun-Times, executive sports editor,
      Atlanta Constitution, sports columnist,

      Lewis McDonald Grizzard, Jr. (October 20, 1946 – March 20, 1994) was an American writer and humorist, known for his Southern demeanor and commentary on the American South. Although he spent his early career as a newspaper sports writer and editor, becoming the sports editor of the Atlanta Journal at age 23, he is much better known for his humorous newspaper columns in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a popular stand-up comedian & lecturer.

      Grizzard also published a total of twenty-five books, including collections of his columns (e.g. Chili Dawgs Always Bark at Night), expanded versions of his stand-up comedy routines (I Haven't Understood Anything Since 1962), and the autobiographical If I Ever Get Back to Georgia, I'm Gonna Nail My Feet to the Ground. Although much of his comedy discussed the South and Grizzard’s personal and professional lives, it was also a commentary on issues prevalent throughout America, including relationships between men and women (e.g. If Love Were Oil, I'd Be About a Quart Low), politics, and health, especially heart health. Grizzard was also the stepbrother of the Southern humorist Ludlow Porch.

      Grizzard was born in Fort Benning, Georgia. His father, Lewis Grizzard, Sr., a soldier in the United States Army, left his mother Christine, a school teacher, when Lewis was young, and the mother and son moved in with Christine's parents in Moreland, Georgia, where Lewis would spend the rest of his childhood. Grizzard would recount his often frustrating relationship with his father in My Daddy Was a Pistol and I'm a Son of a Gun. He began his writing early, publishing stories of his little league team in the nearby Newnan Times-Herald, Newnan, Georgia.

      Grizzard attended the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia where he was a member of the Sigma Pi Fraternity and Gridiron Secret Society. During his time in Athens he became an avid Georgia Bulldogs fan. He studied journalism, but he shunned the school newspaper in favor of the independent Athens Daily News. Before graduating with an A.B.J. in journalism, Grizzard moved on to Atlanta, joining the Atlanta Journal, and becoming the youngest ever executive sports editor of the Journal at the age of 23. The Executive Editor of the Journal, Jim Minter, said that had Grizzard stayed there, he would be remembered today as one of the great newspaper editors of the 20th century.[citation needed] His time there included the Marshall University football team tragedy and the Journal's coverage of Hank Aaron's 715th home run.

      Grizzard then left to become the executive sports editor at the Chicago Sun-Times. He would later recall this as the most miserable period of his life. His tenure included a controversy involving the removal of several news columns written by Lacy Banks, the Sun-Times' first African-American sports columnist, from the newspaper, which resulted in Banks charging racism against Grizzard and led to Banks's subsequent firing. Although the newspaper, under editor Jim Hoge, supported Grizzard, a federal arbitrator reinstated Banks, and he criticized Grizzard as "racially insensitive". Grizzard, for his part, contended that the arbitrator did not understand the newspaper business, and he pointed out that he had replaced Banks with Thom Greer, a writer who was also African-American. Grizzard felt this invalidated any charge of racism. One Chicago radio announcer who sympathized with Grizzard said that Grizzard had been pronounced "guilty by geography". Grizzard was also divorced for the second time while living in Chicago. Grizzard's career as a newspaper man in Chicago is recalled in If I Ever Get Back to Georgia, I'm Gonna Nail My Feet to the Ground.

      In 1977, Grizzard returned to Atlanta as a columnist for the sports section of the Atlanta Constitution newspaper. After eight months, he switched to writing the humor/life column that would eventually make him famous. He published this column about four days per week. At his peak, he was syndicated in 450 newspapers and making regular appearances on television and the stand-up comedy circuit. His popularity in Atlanta was such that the alternative newspaper Creative Loafing, in its annual "Best of Atlanta" poll, included the categories "Best Columnist" and "Best Columnist besides Lewis Grizzard".

      Grizzard often drew criticism for his disparaging remarks about gay people and feminists, and his dislike for the New South and reflections on the "Old South" just of his youth were frequently misinterpreted. Nevertheless, he was extremely popular in the South, and he had enduring popularity across the nation because of the perceived humor, humanity, patriotism, and "old-fashioned" values that permeated his writing. His frequent bewilderment by socio-cultural trends in the 1980s and 1990s struck a chord with many Baby Boom readers. Grizzard refused to use computers, writing every column or book on a regular typewriter. ("When I write, I like to hear some noise", he said.)

      In 1988, Grizzard made his acting debut on the sitcom Designing Women, in the episode "Oh Brother", which first aired on 18 January 1988. Grizzard played the role of Clayton Sugarbaker, the half-brother of Julia and Suzanne Sugarbaker. Clayton was a former mental patient aspiring to be a stand-up comedian.

      Grizzard had a somewhat troubled life, battling alcoholism, and going through three divorces. He was voted "The Author From Hell" at a publishing convention for his behavior on book tours. He also suffered from a congenital heart defect - a valve problem. In his own words, "There are three little leaflets that control the flow of blood to the heart. I was born with only two of those leaflets. It was just after the Great War, so there may have been a shortage. Either that or my daddy didn't get a good toe-hold." His near-death after his third valve-replacement surgery in 1993 brought in over 50,000 letters from well-wishers. He later attributed his miraculous recovery to the prayers of his fans.

      Some time after marrying for the fourth time, Grizzard died of complications of his fourth heart-valve surgery. Grizzard suffered from brain damage, according to one report, from lack of oxygen to his brain. Had he survived, he would have been quite impaired. In accordance with his wishes, his body was cremated, and some of his ashes were scattered at the 50-yard line of the Sanford Stadium at the University of Georgia. The typewriter he used to author columns about the Atlanta Braves 1991 "worst to first" season is on display in the library of the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

      Grizzard never fathered any children, but he did adopt the daughter, Jordan, of his fourth wife.
      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-20-2013, 04:14 PM.


      • George Edward Kimball

        Born: December 20, 1943, Grass Valley, CA
        Died: July 6, 2011, Manhattan, NY, age 67,---d. cancer.

        Sports Writer;
        Attended University of Kansas,
        Grist magazine, editor, (late 60's)
        Boston Phoenix, sport editor, 1972 - 1980, sports editor,
        Boston Herald, 1980 - 2005

        George E. Kimball III (December 20, 1943 – July 6, 2011) was an American author and journalist who spent 25 years as a sports columnist for the Boston Herald before retiring in 2005. Considered one of the foremost boxing writers of his era, he is the author of Four Kings: Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, Duran, and the Last Great Era of Boxing (2008) and "Manly Art: They can run -- but they can't hide" (2011). In collaboration with John Schulian, he edited two anthologies, "At The Fights: American Writers on Boxing" (2011) and "The Fighter Still Remains: A Celebration of Boxing in Poetry and Song from Ali to Zevon" (2010). Since 1997 he had written the weekly ‘America at Large’ column for The Irish Times in Dublin, Ireland, and had contributed to a number of boxing websites.

        Youth and Education
        Descendant of Richard Kimball (ca 1595-1675) and the son of a career Army officer, Kimball was born in Grass Valley, California, but lived all over the world as a boy, including stops in Taiwan and Germany. After graduating from high school in San Antonio, Texas, he attended the University of Kansas, and later the Iowa Writer's Workshop. He became increasingly involved in the counterculture of the late 1960s, and although he had originally attended college on a Naval ROTC scholarship, later in the decade his participation in the antiwar movement led to several arrests.

        Early career
        In the late 1960s Kimball (with John Fowler and Charles Plymell) was an editor for the influential Midwestern magazine Grist before moving to New York, where he was heavily involved in the literary scene revolving around the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s-in-the-Bouwerie and the Lion’s Head saloon in Greenwich Village. After working at the Scott Meredith Literary Agency in New York, Kimball returned to Kansas in 1970, where he waged a colorful campaign for the office Douglas County sheriff. As a freelance writer he contributed to diverse publications such as The Paris Review, Rolling Stone, The Realist, and Scanlan’s Monthly, and his novel, Only Skin Deep, was published in 1968. In the early 1970s he was also an editor for the Cambridge (Mass.) literary journal Ploughshares.

        Journalistic career
        In early 1972 Kimball became the sports editor of the Boston Phoenix, and for nearly a decade there worked on a Phoenix staff that at various times included Joe Klein, Jon Landau, Janet Maslin, Curt Raymond, Sidney Blumenthal and David Denby, while nurturing the early careers of fellow sportswriters Mike Lupica, Michael Gee, and Charles P. Pierce. In 1980 he began a columnist for the Herald, and for the next quarter-century covered major sporting events around the world, including Super Bowls and World Series, NBA Finals and the Olympic Games, golf’s four majors and Ryder Cups, Wimbledon and the America’s Cup yacht races. He covered nearly 400 world title fights, and was the 1985 recipient of the Nat Fleischer Award for Excellence in Boxing Journalism. Kimball also received ‘Best Column’ awards from the Boxing Writers Association of America, the Golf Writers Association of America, Boston Magazine, and United Press International.
        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-21-2013, 08:14 AM.


        • James Alexander Coleman---AKA Jim Coleman

          Born: October 30, 1911, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
          Died: January 14, 2000, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, age 89---d. heart failure

          Canadian sports writer;
          Winnipeg Tribune,
          Edmonton Journal,
          Edmonton Bulletin,
          Canadian Press,
          The Globe and Mail, sports writer, 1941
          Southam Press,

          Father: John; Mother: Alice Bradshaw
          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-21-2013, 08:18 AM.


          • Syed Akber Ali Wahidi

            Born: August 7, 1957, Karachi, Pakistan
            Died: April 25, 2011, age 53,---d. cardiac arrest while asleep.

            Pakistani sports writer;
            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-25-2013, 03:22 PM.


            • Daniel James Fullbrook---AKA Danny Fullbrook

              Born: 1971, Chelsea, England
              Died: June 18, 2012, age 40,---d. cancer

              Birmingham sports writer;
              Attended University of Hull
              Hull Daily Mail,
              Birmingham Mail, sports writer,
              Daily Star, sports writer,
              London Sunday Mirror, sports writer,
              Daily Star, 2000, chief football writer,

              London Evening Standard obituary, June 18, 2012
              Rio Ferdinand leads tributes to Daily Star football writer Danny Fullbrook, who has died of cancer aged 40

              Tributes have been paid to Danny Fullbrook, the chief football writer of the Daily Star, who died from cancer today aged 40.

              Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand was among those expressing their sadness at Fullbrook's death.

              Fullbrook, from Staines, attended Hull University and began his journalism career at the Hull Daily Mail, where he covered Hull City, before moving to report on midlands football for the Birmingham Evening Mail and then the Daily Star.

              He moved to London to work for the Sunday Mirror before returning to the Daily Star in 2000 as chief football writer. Aged 28, he was by some years the youngest in such a position on any Fleet Street newspaper, and he made an immediate impact.

              As a regular and forthright guest on TV football programmes, he soon became a familiar figure to many fans and indeed players - David Beckham and Frank Lampard both contacted him during his illness to offer their support.

              Ferdinand wrote on Twitter today: "RIP Danny Fullbrook, thoughts are with his family at this difficult time."

              Fullbrook co-wrote a number of books on football, including on his beloved Fulham's first season in the Premier League.

              Adrian Bevington, the managing director of Club England, said: "On behalf of the FA and everyone in the England set-up including the players we would like to express our sadness and deepest sympathy on learning that Danny has passed away.

              "Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time. He was a very well-respected individual and a real character around the football media circuit who will be greatly missed by everybody.

              "To lose someone so young is the saddest part of this."

              Brian Woolnough, the Daily Star's chief football writer, today said: "His attitude to life was always to have fun and none of us who knew him and worked with him, will forget his love of entertaining.

              "(He was) passionate, fiercely loyal, great company and a true character.

              "Football will miss him and so will we. Why is it always the good guys?
              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-20-2013, 11:50 PM.


              • Charles W. Heaton, Jr.---AKA Chuck Heaton

                Born: August 22, 1917, New York
                Died: February 7, 2008, age 90,---d. pneumonia

                Cleveland sports writer;
                Yonkers, NY, 4.5 years old, (January 5, 1920 census)
                Cleveland, OH, 12-year old, (April 7, 1930 census)
                Lakewood City, OH, Publicity Director of University of John Carroll, (April 10, 1940 census)
                Cleveland Plain Dealer, sports writer,

                Father: Charles W., Sr., born Ohio, around 1884; Mother: Alice M., born Ohio, around 1890

                Charles "Chuck" Heaton, Jr. (August 22, 1917 – February 7, 2008) was an American sports news columnist, journalist, commentator, and reporter. He worked for 50 years as a sportswriter for The Cleveland Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio. He was also the father of actress Patricia Heaton of the CBS-TV sitcom series' Everybody Loves Raymond and The Middle. Among the many awards he received during his career was the Pro Football Writers Association award for distinguished reporting. After his death from pneumonia at the age of 90, the Press Club in Cleveland established the annual Chuck Heaton Award, given to a print, radio, online or television journalist "who best exemplifies the sensitivity and humility that, along with his journalism heart, were traits exhibited by Chuck Heaton during his exemplary career as a sports writer at The Plain Dealer".
                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-21-2013, 09:40 AM.


                • Randy Stakman

                  Born: 1960,
                  Died: April 16, 2012, Toronto, Canada, age 51,---d. pneumonia, at St. Michael's Hospital (Toronto, Canada).

                  Toronto sports writer;
                  Toronto Star, sports writer, 1988 -

                  Randy Starkman (1960 – April 16, 2012) was a Canadian sports journalist who reported on amateur sports and athletes for the Toronto Star newspaper. He was twice awarded a National Newspaper Award, first in 1993 for his reportage of Ben Johnson's second positive test for steroids, and in 1994 for a series on concussions suffered by hockey players. Starkman authored the book Let the Games Begin in 1994, and co-authored books with Eric Lindros and Currie Chapman. At the time of his death, he was working with Olympic athlete Clara Hughes on another book. Starkman died at age 51 on April 16, 2012, after a brief illness.

                  Born in 1960, Starkman began his career as a journalist working part-time for United Press Canada (UPC) while he attended Ryerson University (then known as Ryerson Polytechnic Institute) in Toronto, Canada. He left Ryerson when UPC offered him a full-time position. He was assigned to cover the amateur sports circuit, stationed in Europe as part of UPC's Athlete Information Bureau from 1984 to 1988. It was during this posting to Europe that Starkman met his future wife, Mary Hynes, who was also working as an amateur sports journalist at that time.

                  In 1988, Starkman joined the sports staff of the Toronto Star, with a focus on amateur and Olympic sports. In 1993, he won the first of two National Newspaper Awards, for his article revealing that disgraced Canadian Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson had tested positive again for performance-enhancing drugs. He won his second National Newspaper Award the following year for his series on concussion injuries in hockey. He turned down opportunities to cover major Toronto sports teams, instead electing to focus on Olympic and amateur sport. During the course of his career, Starkman covered 12 Olympic games. Fellow Star journalist Rosie DiManno wrote that Starkman's reputation amongst Canadian athletes was such that during the media scrums that followed international competitions, athletes would always stop where Starkman stood waiting, and "would actually scan the throng looking for his swarthy face." His fellow journalists came to rely on his extensive knowledge about amateur sports and athletes, and peer John MacKinnon referred to him as "the gold standard for amateur sport reportage." At the same time, he gained the respect of amateur sports administrations.

                  Further recognition of Starkman's journalistic talents came in 2010 from Sports Media Canada, the Canadian branch of the Association Internationale de la Presse Sportive, for breaking the story that South Korean figure skater Kim Yu-Na had fired her coach Brian Orser. As well, he received the 2012 Sports Journalist award from the Toronto Sports Council.

                  Starkman worked with former Canadian Women's Ski Team coach Currie Chapman to write On the Edge, a history of the team under Chapman's leadership; the book was released prior to the 1988 Olympics. In 1991, he co-authored Fire and Ice with National Hockey League star Eric Lindros. He went on to write Let the Games Begin!, released prior to the 1994 Olympics, and aimed at young readers. At the time of his death, he was working with Olympian Clara Hughes in preparation for writing a book about her athletic career.

                  In July 2012, the Canadian Olympic Committee honoured Starkman's journalistic contributions to Canadian amateur sport by naming their London 2012 Olympics media room the "Randy Starkman Press Room".

                  Personal life
                  Starkman was married to fellow journalist Mary Hynes. They have one daughter, Ella.
                  Following an assignment covering a swim meet in Montreal in April 2012, Starkman became ill and was admitted to hospital in Toronto. He died of pneumonia-related causes on April 16, 2012.
                  Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-21-2013, 08:22 AM.


                  • Jack C. Kiser

                    Born: August 27, 1928, Virginia
                    Died: January 14, 1993, Sparks, NV, age 64

                    Philadelphia sports writer;
                    Kingsport, TN, 1-year 7-months old, (April 8, 1930 census)
                    Morrison City, TN, 11-year, (May 27, 1940 census)
                    Charlotte News (Charlotte, NC), sports writer, 1957
                    Philadelphia Daily News (PA), sports writer, 1957 - 1987

                    Father: Collier Kiser, Jr., born Virginia around 1900; Mother: Mildred C., born Kentucky, around 1909; Wife: Nancy

           obituary, January 16, 1993, by Tom Cooney, Daily News Staff Writer
                    Retired Sports Writer Jack Kiser, dies.

                    Jack Kiser, an outstanding sports writer for the Daily News for 30 years who later built a reputation in stamp collecting, died Thursday at his home in Sparks, Nev. He was 64.

                    Kiser was one of the first imports brought to the Daily News by then sports editor Larry Merchant in 1957, when Merchant was fashioning a sports department that became known as one of the nation's best.

                    "Jack was a first-class newspaper man who contributed greatly to the success of our sports staff, which at the time was the engine that drove the Daily News and kept it alive," Merchant said yesterday. "We were all young and wanted to set the town on fire, and Jack lit a lot of matches and helped build the bonfire."

                    Small and lean and with a Southern accent that never quit, even after decades in the north, Kiser, a native of Kingsport, Tenn., had worked on several papers in the South and was at the Charlotte News in '57. Merchant had hired Sandy Grady from that paper earlier that year and Grady, now a political columnist for the Daily News, recommended Kiser.

                    "He was a real sharp deskman," Grady recalled, "a professional with a lot of zest for the business. He was lively, curious, energetic and when interested in something he was totally into it. He enjoyed what he did."

                    Kiser's widow, Nancy, repeated that thought, saying he "lived and breathed" the Daily News before leaving the paper in 1987.

                    Early in his Philadelphia career, Kiser was a sports deskman, charged with organizing and designing the sports pages.

                    Later, he took writing assignments and became nationally known for his coverage of professional basketball (the Philadelphia Warriors then, starring

                    Wilt Chamberlain) and, exclusively in his later years at the paper, harness racing. He won several national awards for his coverage of the racing beat.

                    His writing was tough, aggressive, often controversial. Yet when he won the Harness Racing Institute top award in 1966, it was for a column describing the sudden death of a harness driver during a race. The judges said it "presents a poignant drama of the harness track. His sympathetic treatment of the event is impressive."

                    On the basketball beat, Kiser was present the night Chamberlain scored 100 points and it was he who declared he'd carefully measured Chamberlain's height to the sixteenth of an inch. No one else ever confirmed the measurement, but there was no public denial either.

                    One of his memorable basketball moments came when he tangled with referee Norm Drucker at a Warriors-Celtics game here. Kiser, at the sportswriters' table, vocally questioned many of Drucker's calls - kiddingly, he said - until the beleagured official finally screamed at him, "You're out of the game."

                    "How can I be out when I'm not in?" Jack asked.

                    "Get him out or the game's forfeited," Drucker fumed. Finally, Kiser was convinced to switch seats with a paying customer.

                    Kiser, who'd split his time between homes in Folcroft, Delaware County, and Nevada for several years, became a full-time Nevada resident after leaving the Daily News. He turned his full attention then to stamp collecting, a hobby about which he'd written occasionally since 1978.

                    He became very prominent in philatelic circles, said his widow, and was active in the American Philatelic Society and the national Stamp Dealers Association.

                    Kiser, who'd battled cancer since 1988, died "peacefully and painlessly," his widow said. At his request, his body was to be cremated, with no funeral or memorial services.

                    Mrs. Kiser asked those who wished to remember Jack to contribute to the Hospice of Northern Nevada at 129 W. 6th Street, Reno, Nev., 89503.
                    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-25-2013, 12:57 AM.


                    • Daniel C. Wetzel

                      Born: September 24, 1971, Norwell, MA

                      Sports writer;
                      Graduated University of Massachusetts (Amherst, MA), 1994

                      Dan Wetzel is an author, screenwriter, and sports columnist

                      He's written sports-related books "Resilience", Sole Influence, Glory Road, and Runnin' Rebel. As a sports writer, he has written about NASCAR, college football, the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, mixed martial arts, and the Olympics. His columns appear In the sports section of

                      He is a fill-in host on The Sports Inferno in Detroit, Michigan on AM 1270.

                      Wetzel is a native of Norwell, Massachusetts and a 1994 graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he was editor of the campus newspaper (The Daily Collegian) and majored in political science.

                      Dan Wetzel is a passionate opponent of the BCS system for determining the NCAA Division I FBS National Football Championship. He regularly writes on the desirability of a playoff to determine the national champion, and has co-authored a book entitled Death to the BCS.
                      "You’re here because you’re like us. You hate the Bowl Championship Series. Despise it. Loathe it. Want it to disappear tomorrow. It is a pox on college football, and you just wish someone would find the vaccine."
                      —Promotional website for Death to the BCS

                      On March 18, 2013, Wetzel authored a piece on the Stubenville High School rape verdict that quickly went viral. The article differed starkly in tone from other coverage of the case, eschewing sympathy for the rapists' "ruined lives" and instead emphasizing the pervasive rape culture that permitted the rape to go forward, including the potential culpability of witnesses to the rape.
                      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-21-2013, 11:42 AM.


                      • Darin August Esper

                        Born: January 18, 1961, Santa Monica, CA
                        Died: November 25, 2001, Burbank, CA, age 40,

                        Los Angeles sports writer;
                        Graduated Burbank College,
                        Burbank Leader, sports writer,
                        Los Angeles Times, sports writer,

                        Burbank Leader obituary, December 1, 2001, by Molly Shore
                        Former Leader sports writer dies

                        BURBANK -- Darin August Esper, a former sports writer for the Burbank Leader and Los Angeles Times, died Nov. 25, 2001, at his family's Burbank home. He was 40.

                        Esper is remembered by his colleagues as a well-rounded sports writer who could cover anything from high school sports to professional auto racing.

                        "When it came to local sports knowledge, there was nobody that knew more than Darin Esper," said Jeff Tully, the Leader's sports editor. "Along with the sports knowledge, he was always a very nice person."

                        In his reporting for the Times, Esper covered the Long Beach Grand Prix and the California 500 in Fontana. "Motor sports was his passion," said Mike Kupper, the Times' senior assistant sports editor, who sometimes went on assignments with Esper.

                        "Darin was a very hard worker. Nothing got between him and what he wanted to get done," Kupper said.

                        Born Jan. 18, 1961, in Santa Monica, Esper was a lifelong resident of Burbank. Although he didn't participate in sports in high school, choosing instead to play the French horn in the school band, he was an
                        avid sports fan.

                        "Since he was a Burbank graduate and came from a sports family, his knowledge was invaluable when he worked for me at the paper," Tully said. It was Esper's brother Damin who preceded Tully as the paper's sports editor. Esper's dad, Dwain, is a sports writer and announcer.

                        "All of us in this family are not athletic, but we admire sports," Dwain Esper said.

                        Esper is survived by his parents, Dwain and Diane Esper, and his brothers Damin and Dilan. No funeral service is planned.
                        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-19-2013, 08:19 PM.


                        • Gerald Eugene Reigle---AKA Jerry Reigle

                          Born: August 6, 1968, Harrisburg, PA
                          Died: August 30, 2011, Camp Hill, PA, age 43,---d. stomach cancer

                          Sports writer;
                          Patriot-News, 1999 - June, 2008
                          Area Auto Racing News, assistant editor,

                          Wife: Kelly.

                          The Patriot-News obituary, August 30, 2011,
                          Former Patriot-News sports writer Jerry Reigle dies at 43

                          Jerry Reigle, well-known in the midstate and throughout the East Coast for his encyclopedic knowledge of dirt-track racing, died Tuesday of stomach cancer. He was 43.

                          Reigle joined The Patriot-News as its motorsports correspondent in 1999 and quickly became an invaluable contributor to the sports department. Before long, he handled high school, local college and local sports stories, proving himself to be a prolific and talented writer.

                          An unassuming, friendly guy, Jerry had the kind of personality that made the subjects of his stories — from local athletes to NASCAR’s top drivers — open up to him.

                          One of his many highlights was his coverage from the 2001 Daytona 500, when NASCAR icon Dale Earnhardt Sr. died in a crash that changed the sport. But he brought the same energy and storytelling ability to wrestling meets, state swimming championships and the many other events he covered for The Patriot-News.

                          He left The Patriot-News in June 2008 to become the assistant editor for Area Auto Racing News but continued as a correspondent through March 2010

                          Throughout his nearly year-long battle with cancer, Reigle continued to work and appear at area tracks as recently as several weeks ago. As news of his death spread Tuesday, tributes poured in to websites dedicated to local auto racing.

                          Reigle is survived by his wife, Kelly.
                          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 11-24-2013, 10:24 AM.


                          • Michael Thomas Lupica---AKA Mike Lupica

                            Born: May 11, 1952, Oneida, NY
                            Died: Still alive

                            New York sports writrer;
                            New York Daily News, sports writer,

                            Michael Lupica (born on May 11, 1952 in Oneida, New York) is an American newspaper columnist, best known for his provocative commentary on sports in the New York Daily News and his appearances on ESPN.

                            Lupica spent his childhood in Nashua, New Hampshire and graduated from Bishop Guertin High School and later Boston College. He first came to prominence as a sportswriter in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Lupica wrote "The Sporting Life" column at Esquire magazine for ten years beginning in the late 1980s, and currently writes a regular column for Travel + Leisure Golf. He has also written for Golf Digest, Parade, ESPN The Magazine, and Men’s Journal, and has received numerous awards including, in 2003, the Jim Murray Award from the National Football Foundation.
                            Daily News columnist

                            Lupica writes several sports columns during the week for the Daily News, as well as a signature Sunday column, "Shooting from the Lip," which features a traditional column followed by a series of short, acerbic observations from the week in sports. He recently began writing a regular political column entitled "Mondays with Mike," which is strongly liberal in orientation.

                            Favorite Lupica targets include the New York Yankees, (and will often state their massive payroll in most of his articles) James Dolan, Isiah Thomas, Notre Dame football, Rudy Giuliani, Michael Bloomberg, former President George W. Bush, and former Vice President Dick Cheney. Lupica has also been a harsh critic of the new Yankee Stadium and was a vehement opponent of the proposed West Side Stadium. He has likewise been highly critical of the Atlantic Yards project and the attendant construction of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

                            Lupica co-wrote autobiographies with Reggie Jackson and Bill Parcells and collaborated with screenwriter William Goldman on Wait Till Next Year and Mad as Hell: How Sports Got Away From the Fans and How We Get It Back. Lupica also wrote The Summer of ’98: When Homers Flew, Records Fell, and Baseball Reclaimed America, which detailed how the 1998 and the Mark McGwire/Sammy Sosa home run chase had allowed him to share a love for baseball with his son. Lupica has been listed a vocal critic of the steroid era.

                            Lupica is also a novelist; his work includes mysteries involving fictional NYC television reporter Peter Finley. One of them, Dead Air, was nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Mystery and the 1987 Anthony Award in the same category; and was also adapted into a television movie called Money, Power, Murder. He has written a novel for younger audiences called Travel Team. Lupica’s Bump and Run and Wild Pitch were best sellers. 2003 saw a sequel to Bump and Run, entitled Red Zone.In April 2006, his second children's book, Heat, was published by Philomel. Heat is a fictional story based on the Danny Almonte scandal in the South Bronx Little League. In October 2006, Lupica's third children's novel, Miracle on 49th Street, was published. Summer Ball, a sequel to Travel Team, was released in 2007.

                            Television & radio work
                            Since 1988 Lupica has been one of the rotating pundits on The Sports Reporters on ESPN.[3] He also briefly hosted an unsuccessful television chat program, The Mike Lupica Show, on ESPN2, as well as a short-lived radio show on WFAN in New York City in the mid-1990s. He has been a recurring guest on the CBS Morning News, Good Morning America, and The MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour. Lupica has made frequent radio appearances on Imus in the Morning since the early 1980s. On May 9, 2011, Lupica began a daily radio show on WEPN-FM from 2PM-3PM (recently moved to Noon-1PM). He works alongside Don La Greca, and precedes The Michael Kay Show.
                            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-21-2013, 01:23 PM.


                            • Thomas Massey McEwen---AKA Tom McEwen

                              Born: March 16, 1923, Wauchula, FL
                              Died: June 5, 2011, Tampa, FL, age 88,---d. at home, of numerous illnesses, including cancer.

                              Tampa (FL) sports writer;
                              Wauchula, FL, 7-year old, (April 8, 1930 census)
                              Wauchula, FL, 16-year old, (April 20, 1940 census)
                              Tampa Tribune (FL), sports columnist, 1962 - 2001

                              Father: John C., born Florida, around 1885; Mother: Virginia M., born Florida, around 1886;

                              ESPN obituary, June 5, 2011,
                              Sports columnist Tom McEwen dies,

                              TAMPA, Fla. -- Tom McEwen, a longtime sports writer and editor at The Tampa Tribune who amassed more than 10,000 columns during his tenure and pushed hard to bring professional franchises to the city, has died. He was 88.

                              McEwen died early Sunday at his Davis Island home. His son, Rick McEwen, said his father suffered from numerous illnesses in recent years, including cancer and poor blood circulation that led to one of his legs being amputated a year ago.

                              The son credited McEwen with putting Tampa on the map in the sports world. McEwen's campaigns for professional franchises helped Tampa land the NFL's Buccaneers and the NHL's Lightning.

                              "That's his biggest legacy," Rick McEwen said. "He loved the community, he fought for the community, he championed it."

                              The Glazer family, which owns the Bucs, said in a statement Sunday: "Had Tom decided to dedicate his trademark smarts, gusto, and energy to something else, there would be no Buccaneers. If Tampa Bay had its own Mount Rushmore, Tom McEwen would be etched on it."

                              McEwen wrote six columns a week for much of his career and also wrote four books. He served as sports editor from 1962 until 1992, and his final column for the paper appeared in 2001.

                              "Tom McEwen will always remain a legend, not only in Tampa but throughout sports," NFL senior vice president Greg Aiello said in a statement.

                              McEwen covered nearly every Super Bowl, along with major events for virtually every other sport: the World Series, Final Fours, the Masters, Wimbledon, the Kentucky Derby, the Indianapolis 500, World Cup soccer and several Olympics.

                              "To say that Tom was just a sports writer would be an understatement," University of Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said Sunday. "He was a leader in his industry and a leader in sports."

                              At least two press boxes were named for him, as was a street near Raymond James Stadium, where the Buccaneers play. McEwan was named Florida Sportswriter of the Year a record 19 times and won The Associated Press Sports Editors' Red Smith Award for lifetime achievement in 1993. He also was a member of the Florida Sports Hall of Fame.

                              Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue once said: "Tom is a giant in his industry."

                              McEwen developed a close relationship with the late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who lived in Tampa. Their families spent Christmas Eve together, and McEwen persuaded Steinbrenner in the 1990s to move the Yankees' spring training base from Fort Lauderdale to Tampa.

                              Thomas Massey McEwen was born in Tampa on March 16, 1923, and raised in Wauchula as a member of a pioneer Florida family that included his cousin, former state agriculture commissioner Doyle Carlton. He was salutatorian of his high school class and earned a journalism degree with honors from the University of Florida, where he was executive editor of The Alligator student newspaper. After serving in World War II, McEwen began his professional newspaper career in a $35-a-week position at the Fort Myers News-Press in 1946. He also worked at the St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Times.

                              Despite ill health in recent years, McEwen kept writing until his death. He had a blog for and his own web site, A column was posted on the blog just two days before he died. In many of those columns he signed off with: "Babaloo!"

                              Funeral arrangements are pending.
                              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-21-2013, 10:50 AM.


                              • Patrick Joseph Connolly---AKA Pat Connolly

                                Born: 1928, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
                                Died: November 27, 2012, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, age 84,---d. cancer

                                Canadian sports writer / broadcaster;
                                Graduated Sydney Academy, 1945

                                Father: Patrick Joseph; Mother: Annie MacIssac;

                                Pat Connolly (1928 - 27 November, 2012) was a famous Canadian sports broadcaster. He began his journalism career in 1945 and his radio career in Sydney in 1948 with CJCB radio. In 1954, Connolly became Atlantic Canada's first television sports guest. He was also a sports reporter for The Chronicle Herald and Halifax Daily News. Connolly was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2009, The Pat Connolly Press Box was named after him.

                                Connolly, Patrick Joseph, LL.D., 84, of Dartmouth, well known broadcaster and journalist, passed away on November 27, 2012. Born in Sydney to the late Patrick Joseph (“Joe”) and Annie (MacIssac) Connolly, he graduated from Sydney Academy in l945, and embarked upon a long and celebrated career in journalism and broadcasting for the ensuing six decades, earning the nickname: “The Dean of Maritime Sports”. Pat’s writing career began with the Cape Breton Post and the Halifax Chronicle Herald. His broadcasting career began by accident in 1948 when he accompanied a friend to an audition at CJCB Radio to provide moral support. Instead, he was ordered by the station owner to audition, despite his protests that he hadn’t applied for the job. He was hired and worked with CJCB for several years before moving to CJCH Radio and the fledgling CBC Halifax Television in l954 as the CBC’s first “Sports Host”. Pat was subsequently hired by CJCH television, before moving to Ontario to accept radio positions with McLean Hunter and the Great Lakes Broadcasting system from 1962 (to) 1967. He returned to Halifax in 1967 and subsequently worked for CFDR Radio and CHNS Radio in various on-air capacities. Over the following 23 years, Pat became known as the voice of American Hockey League teams such as the Nova Scotia Voyageurs, the Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Oilers, and Halifax Citadels, and more latterly as the (public address announcer) for the Halifax Mooseheads. During this time, Pat continued to write as a columnist with the Halifax-Chronicle Herald, the Halifax Daily News and numerous Canadian and American newspapers and publications.

                                Over the years, Pat dedicated much of his time to numerous community, sports and charitable organizations. He served on both the Board of Governors and the Selection Committee of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. From 1977 to 1997, he was Chairman of the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee. He served on the Board of Governors of Saint Mary’s University and was involved with the Saint Mary’s Sports Hall of Fame. He was elected to both the Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Sports Halls of Fame.

                                Pat’s expertise in journalism and sport, and his dedication to community causes has been recognized both within and outside his immediate community. In l988, the American Hockey League awarded him the James Ellery Trophy for outstanding radio broadcasting and distinguished service. He was chosen by the Atlanta, Georgia Dept. of Trade, Commerce and Industry to act as a representative Canadian journalist in previewing the Olympic Summer Games sites in Atlanta, prior to the opening of the Games. Within the local community, he was honored for his contributions by the Halifax Regional Municipality during its 250th Anniversary celebrations, and in 2002 was named a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for his longstanding work as a journalist and volunteer. In 2006 he was awarded an Honourary Doctorate of Civil Laws from Saint Mary’s University, an institution for which he always held great admiration and affection.

                                Amongst his media colleagues and members of the public with whom he came into contact, Pat was admired for his sense of dignity and respect for all. He believed that journalists were privileged to have a public platform, which could only be used to inform the public and to ask the questions they themselves would ask; but never to disparage anyone in the process. Pat was quick with a smile and compliment, and was a welcome speaker, master of ceremonies and feature writer because of his outstanding ability with the spoken and written word.

                                Pat is survived by his wife of 50 years, Bette (Curtis), his son David and daughter in law Alison McEachern, and his two adored grandchildren, Alec and Brighid Connolly. He is also survived by his brother, Rev. Fr. Owen Connolly (Halifax), and his sisters Ann Culligan (Dartmouth); Barbara Matheson (Ottawa), Eileen Gillis (Sydney) and Louise Whitehead (Portland, Maine), his sisters-in-law Mary Connolly (Kitchener), Leah Connolly (Dartmouth), Marjorie Alexander (Rye, NY), Marilyn Skinner (Mississauga); brother-in-law Ken Curtis (Halifax) and his many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his brothers John and Dennis, his sister Kaye , sister-in-law Mary Alexander, and brothers-in-law William (Billy) Curtis, Ray Matheson, Doane Curtis, Warner Curtis, Larry Whitehead, Patrick (Paddy) Gillis and Joe Culligan.

                                Pat’s family wishes to extend its deep gratitude to all of those friends and family who offered support during his illness. Additionally, Pat was so very fortunate to have the finest medical care from Drs. Rod Lee, Jonathan Trites, Derek Wilkie and as well as all of the incredible doctors , nurses and staff of the Nova Scotia Cancer Centre with whom he came in contact over the last ten years. At home, the VON were his “angels of mercy” and in the hospital, the nurses of 6B Victoria General site filled the same role, seeing him through to the end of his life, with gentle compassion.

                                Cremation has occurred. Visitation will take place on Friday, November 30th at the Atlantic Funeral Home, 771 Main St., Dartmouth from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The funeral mass will be held at St. Peter’s Church , 10 Maple St, Dartmouth on Saturday, December 1st, at 11am, Rev. Fr. Owen Connolly officiating. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Pat’s memory to any of his favourite causes, such as KidSport Nova Scotia, Feeding Others of Dartmouth-Margaret House, Hope Cottage, or the VON.
                                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 06-07-2013, 08:31 PM.


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