Red Smith (writer)

From BR Bullpen

Walter Wellesley Smith

Biographical Information[edit]

Hailing from Green Bay, Red Smith rose to become America's most widely read sportwriter. Today, he is remembered as one of America's most outstanding sportswriters.

After graduating from East High School in Green Bay, site of Packers home games until 1957, Smith moved on to the University of Notre Dame. After graduation, he worked for the Milwaukee Sentinel, St. Louis Journal, and Philadelphia Record.

After 18 years, Smith joined New York Herald Tribune. Smith cemented his reputation with the Herald-Trib, as his column was widely read and often syndicated. When the paper folded in 1966, Smith became a freelance writer. He joined the New York Times in 1971 as a contract writer. By this time, his reputation was secured as America's sportswriter.

During his time with the Times, Smith garnered many awards. In 1976, he was the first sportswriter to win the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. He also received the J.G. Taylor Spink Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976. Furthermore, the Associated Press awarded him the first Red Smith Award, named in his honor, for "outstanding contributions to sports journalism."

Walter W. "Red" Smith died in 1982 of heart failure. Red Smith Middle School in Green Bay is named in his honor.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Ira Berkow: Red: A Biography of Red Smith, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2007.
  • Phyllis Smith: Red Smith on Baseball: The Game's Greatest Writer on the Game's Greatest Years, Ivan R. Dee, Chicago, IL, 2000