Warren Brown (sportswriter)

Last updated
Warren Brown
Warren Brown (sportswriter).jpg
Brown in 1964
Born(1894-01-03)January 3, 1894
DiedNovember 19, 1978(1978-11-19) (aged 84)
OccupationSportswriter
Spouse(s)Olive Burns
Children4
Awards J. G. Taylor Spink Award (1973)

Warren William Brown [1] (January 3, 1894 – November 19, 1978) was an American sportswriter for over 50 years, spending the majority of his career in Chicago.

Contents

Early life

Brown was born in Somersville, California, a mining town near San Francisco. His father Patrick was the local saloon keeper. When the Somersville mines flooded, the family moved to San Francisco, where Brown was a firsthand witness to the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Brown attended St. Ignatius College (later renamed The University of San Francisco) for his prep school as well as university years. During his college years Brown played baseball for the Sacramento minor league team in the summers.

Career

After getting his undergraduate degree he began his sportswriting career with the San Francisco Bulletin . After serving in U.S. Army intelligence stateside during World War I, Brown returned to the Bulletin, but soon moved to William Randolph Hearst's San Francisco Call & Post . Brown was one of the first sportswriters to hail a local boxer named Jack Dempsey. He also doubled as the paper's drama critic, specializing in vaudeville and musical comedy. In the early 1920s Brown was transferred to the Hearst paper in New York for a year. That is where he hired a young sportswriter named Ed Sullivan, who went on to be a society columnist and then a mid-century American icon with his TV variety show. Starting in 1920, Brown saw every World Series for fifty years. Brown's final move was to Chicago to be the sports editor of Hearsts Chicago Herald-Examiner . He was a sports editor, columnist and baseball beat writer (usually at the same time) for several Chicago papers over the next 40 years. While working at the Chicago American as sports editor he mentored a young sportswriter named Brent Musburger.

Brown was a friend and confidant of legendary University of Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne. Brown and former Notre Dame running back Marchy Schwartz had dinner with Rockne in Chicago the night before his ill-fated plane crash. He wrote Rockne's biography in 1931.

Long credited to Grantland Rice, Brown was actually the person that coined the nickname for fabled Illinois running back Red Grange. [2] He wrote a column describing Grange's running style and said he was like a "Galloping Ghost." The nickname is one of the most famous in sports annals. Brown also coined the nickname "The Sultan of Swat" for legendary baseball icon Babe Ruth.[ citation needed ]

As a beat writer and columnist he was known for his acerbic wit and breezy reporting style. Following the 1945 World Series, he wrote a history of the Chicago Cubs as part of the Putnam series of books that covered all the major league baseball teams. Mr. Brown's famous quote from the 1945 World Series between the Cubs and Tigers of "I don't think either one of them is good enough to win it" usually surfaces as the Cubs reach rare playoff appearances.

It was sufficiently well-received that The Chicago Cubs is one book in that series that has been periodically re-issued. In 1947 he wrote a memoir of sorts called Win, Lose or Draw. It was a collection of anecdotes about celebrated figures in sports Brown had crossed paths with in his first 30 years as a sportswriter.

In late 1973, Brown was named a recipient of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award from the Baseball Writers' Association of America. He was honored in ceremonies at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, in August 1974, during the same ceremonies where Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Cool Papa Bell, and umpire Jocko Conlan were formally inducted to the Hall. [3] Former Chicago White Sox player and Hall of Fame member Ted Lyons accepted the award on Brown's behalf. [3]

Personal life

Brown's three sons were all athletes at the University of Notre Dame. Sons Bill and Pete were swimmers while youngest son, Roger, was a backup quarterback for the Fighting Irish on the 1946 and 1947 National Championship teams. Brown also had a daughter, Mary Elizabeth Rempe (née Brown).

Warren Brown died at age 84 in Forest Park, Illinois, and is buried in Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois, next to his beloved wife and best friend, Olive Burns Brown.

Books

Related Research Articles

Knute Rockne American college football player and college football coach

Knute Kenneth Rockne was a Norwegian-American football player and coach at the University of Notre Dame.

The Chicago American was an afternoon newspaper published in Chicago, under various names until 1974.

Lindsey Nelson American sportscaster

Lindsey Nelson was an American sportscaster best known for his long career calling play-by-play of college football and New York Mets baseball.

Elmer Layden American football player, coach, executive

Elmer Francis Layden was an American football player, coach, college athletics administrator, and professional sports executive. He played college football at the University of Notre Dame where he starred at fullback as a member of the legendary "Four Horsemen" backfield. Layden played professionally in the original AFL in 1925 and 1926 with three clubs, the Hartford Blues, the Brooklyn Horsemen, and the Rock Island Independents. He began his coaching career during the same two seasons at Columbia College in Dubuque, Iowa, now known as Loras College. Layden then served as the head coach at Duquesne University from 1927 to 1933 and at his alma mater, Notre Dame, from 1934 to 1940, where he also held the position of athletic director. From 1941 to 1946, Layden was the commissioner of the National Football League (NFL). He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1951.

Doug Harvey (umpire) American baseball umpire

Harold Douglas Harvey was an umpire in Major League Baseball (MLB), who worked in the National League (NL) from 1962 through 1992.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish football American athletic football program of the University of Notre Dame

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team is the intercollegiate football team representing the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. The team is coached by Brian Kelly and plays its home games at the campus's Notre Dame Stadium, which has a capacity of 77,622. Notre Dame is one of six schools that competes as an Independent at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level; however, they play five games a year against opponents from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), of which Notre Dame is a member in all other sports except ice hockey. In response to the Covid 19 pandemic, Notre Dame football competed as an ACC member for the 2020 FBS season.

Will Clark American baseball player

William Nuschler Clark Jr. is an American professional baseball first baseman who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1986 through 2000. He played for the San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, and St. Louis Cardinals. Clark was known by the nickname of "Will the Thrill." The nickname has often been truncated to simply, "The Thrill."

Pat Hughes (sportscaster)

Vergil Patrick "Pat" Hughes is an American sportscaster. He has been the radio play-by-play announcer for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB) since 1996.

Four Horsemen (American football)

The Four Horsemen of Notre Dame comprised a group of American football players at the University of Notre Dame under coach Knute Rockne. They were the backfield of Notre Dame's 1924 football team. The players that made up this group were Harry Stuhldreher, Don Miller, Jim Crowley, and Elmer Layden.

Bob Broeg American sportswriter

Robert William Patrick Broeg was an American sportswriter.

Jeff Samardzija American baseball player

Jeffrey Alan Samardzija, nicknamed Shark, is an American professional baseball pitcher who is currently a free agent. He played college baseball and football for the University of Notre Dame, and was recognized as a two-time All-American wide receiver. He was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 5th round of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft. He made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut in 2008. He then played in MLB for the Chicago Cubs from 2008 to 2014, the Oakland Athletics in 2014, the Chicago White Sox in 2015, and the San Francisco Giants from 2016 to 2020. He was an MLB All-Star in 2014.

Slip Madigan

Edward Patrick "Slip" Madigan was an American football player and coach of football, basketball, and baseball. He served as the head coach at Saint Mary's College of California from 1921 to 1939 and at the University of Iowa from 1943 to 1944, compiling a career college football record of 119–58–13. Madigan was also the head basketball coach at Saint Mary's from 1921 to 1927 and the head baseball coach at the school from 1926 to 1930. He played football at the University of Notre Dame as a center. Madigan was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1974.

Gus Dorais American football player, coach, and administrator

Charles Emile "Gus" Dorais was an American football player, coach, and athletic administrator.

Eddie Cochems American football player and coach

Edward Bulwer Cochems was an American football player and coach. He played football for the University of Wisconsin from 1898 to 1901 and was the head football coach at North Dakota Agricultural College—now known as North Dakota State University (1902–1903), Clemson University (1905), Saint Louis University (1906–1908), and the University of Maine (1914). During his three years at Saint Louis, he was the first football coach to build an offense around the forward pass, which became a legal play in the 1906 college football season. Using the forward pass, Cochems' 1906 team compiled an undefeated 11–0 record, led the nation in scoring, and outscored opponents by a combined score of 407 to 11. He is considered by some to be the "father of the forward pass" in American football.

Jerome Holtzman

Jerome Holtzman was an American sportswriter known for his writings on baseball who served as the official historian for Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1999 until his death.

Barton "Botchey" Koch was an American college football player. He was the first consensus All-America football player from the Southwest Conference. He was elected to the Baylor Sports Hall of Fame in 1961, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1967 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1974. He was named to the All Time Texas High School Team by Texas Football magazine in 1968 and to the "50-Year Super Stars" of the Southwest Conference by Texas Football magazine in 1969. In 1984, he was added to the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame.

Donald Chester Grant was an American football player, coach and sportswriter.

Thomas A. Barry

Thomas Austin Barry was an American college football coach and player, lawyer, and industrial adviser. He served as the head football coach at Tulane University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Denver. Barry attended Harvard Law School and Brown University, where he played on the football team and was named an All-American in 1902.

Paul Edward Schramka was an American professional baseball left fielder in Major League Baseball. Schramka signed as a free agent in 1949 with the Chicago Cubs and played with the team at the Major League level in 1953 before playing minor league ball in the Cubs' system. Later in 1953, future Hall of Famer Ernie Banks joined the Cubs and wore the number vacated by Schramka, number 14.

Charles Dryden

Charles Dryden was an American baseball writer and humorist. He was reported to be the most famous and highly paid baseball writer in the United States during the 1900s. Known for injecting humor into his baseball writing, Dryden was credited with elevating baseball writing from the commonplace. In 1928, The Saturday Evening Post wrote: "The greatest of all the reporters, and the man to whom the game owes more, perhaps, than to any other individual, was Charles Dryden, the Mark Twain of baseball."

References

  1. "Draft Registration Card" . Selective Service System. April 1942. Retrieved February 28, 2021 via fold3.com.
  2. "The Galloping Ghost". American Heritage. Archived from the original on February 2, 2009. Retrieved May 18, 2008.
  3. 1 2 Leusch, John (August 13, 1974). "Mantle, Ford, Conlan enter Hall of Fame". Chicago Tribune . p. 43. Retrieved February 28, 2021 via newspapers.com.