RIP: Texas Sportswriter Blackie Sherrod

Voted Texas Sportswriter of the Year a record 16 times.

Perhaps the best thing about the illustrious newspaper career of William Forrest “Blackie” Sherrod, which began in 1946 at the Texas Telegram and went on to encompass the Fort Worth Press, Dallas Times Herald and Dallas Morning News, is that it came to an end before the full implosion of the print media world. Sherrod, retired since 2003, passed away today at age 96.

From an op-ed in the Morning News:

By the time The Dallas Morning News hired him in 1985, he had long been the gold standard for Texas sportswriting. He would write sports columns for another decade before cutting back to his popular “Scattershooting” column on Sundays and a weekly piece for the editorial pages… No writer would be so imitated over the decades or inspire more careers in this business.

The News has a great package of pieces relating to Sherrod, including several chosen highlights from his column archives. In the main obituary, members of the sports world pay tribute:

“He was different from the other guys,” said Roger Staubach, the former Cowboys quarterback. “You’d sit down and know you’re gonna read Blackie’s column. He definitely had a following.”

Golfer Don January called him “the best writer I ever read.” The late University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal, with whom Sherrod wrote one of the only two books he ever finished, once said he always enjoyed being interviewed by him.

“He’s different and clever,” Royal said. “I was never bored, talking to him or reading him.”

RIP.

H/T: Eric Kauffman