Richard Sandomir’s First Assignment Was an Obituary

His own.

Any day now, The New York Times will publish Richard Sandomir’s first contribution to the Obituaries section. When that happens, it will complete a long-drawn journalism circle for the reporter, who is leaving the sports business and sports media beats.

From Sandomir’s recent Times Insider essay:

When Robert Eidelberg’s journalism class at John Bowne High School in Flushing, Queens convened in September, 1972, our first assignment was to write an obituary about ourselves. We were all about 15 years old, without much life experience (I was months from my first paying job at a supermarket), so the task was to invent our futures. …

Eidelberg is the one teacher I’ve stayed in touch with all these years. He inspired me to enter journalism and each time I’ve made a significant change in my career, I’ve called him. Forty-four years later, he is teaching at Hunter College and retains the big-hearted enthusiasm he brought to our class.

Sandomir has penned about three dozen obituaries from the sports-desk end and recently worked on an advance obituary for Vin Scully. Let’s hope that one stays in the drawer for many years to come.

Read the rest of Sandomir’s interesting thoughts on his NYT transition here. Including a first for the Obituaries department.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Richard Sandomir Shifting to the Obituaries Beat

Screen grab via: nytimes.com