Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith
(September 25, 1905 in Green Bay, Wisconsin January 15, 1982
in Stamford, Connecticut) was an American sportswriter who rose
to become one of America's most widely read sports columnists.
After graduating from Green Bay East High School, 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 the New York Herald Tribune.
He cemented his reputation with the Herald-Trib, as his column
was widely read and often syndicated. When the paper folded
in 1966, he became a freelance writer. He joined the New York
Times in 1971 as a contract writer. By this time, his reputation
was secured as one of the foremost sportswriters in America.
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
for "outstanding contributions to sports journalism."
Smith died at the age 76 of heart failure. Red Smith Middle
School in Green Bay is named in his honor. Also named in his
honor is the Red Smith Handicap, a race for Thoroughbred horses
run at Belmont Park on Long Island, New York.
"There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down
at a typewriter and open a vein." [p. 7, No More Rejections:
50 Secrets to Writing A Manuscript That Sells, by Alice Orr,
Writer's Digest, Cincinnati, 2004]
Red's son, Terence Smith, went on to be a journalist at The
New York Times, CBS News, PBS, and NPR.
Smith (sportswriter). (2008, July 28). In Wikipedia, The Free
Encyclopedia. Retrieved , August 12, 2008