Friday, January 26, 2007

A legend leaves us

Van McKenzie, one of the most important sports editors of the past 50 years and an equally large character, has died of cancer at 61. His obituary in the Orlando Sentinel -- his last stop in a 'nomadic' career (to say the least) -- describes the man who influenced the business for four decades and whose stamp will remain on the way sports sections are produced and how they look and read long after he's gone.

I never worked with Van, but I knew him through APSE, played poker with him a few times, ate dinner or drank with him a few times. And I certainly worked with others whose careers were profoundly influenced by him. And I don't think I ever heard anybody say a negative word about the man -- quite a feat in this business.

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