Smith, Red

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Smith, Red Gender: M
Walter Wellesley Smith
born on 25 September 1905 at 06:15 (= 06:15 AM )
Place Green Bay, Wisconsin, 44n31, 88w01
Timezone CST h6w (is standard time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 01°45' s_mo.18.gif s_leocol.18.gif 15°21 Asc.s_libcol.18.gif 07°10'


American sportswriter; a humorous, famed and Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for over 50 years. Known for his irreverence toward his chosen field, he introduced humor and a subtle literacy to sports writing. In addition to his columns, which were collected in three different volumes, he wrote several books, including a history of baseball. Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith, a Green Bay, Wisconsin native, graduated from Notre Dame University in 1927. He went to work for the Milwaukee Sentinel at $25.00 a week as a general assignment reporter. From there, he moved to the St. Louis Star with his first sports assignment, a year later. For his first story, he wrote about a night football game from the viewpoint of an indignant glowworm on the field.

He joined the Philadelphia record in 1936. During his ten years there, he formed close ties with Grantland Rice and Fred Lieb. In 1945 he moved to the New York Herald-Tribune. By 1954 he had become the most widely syndicated sports columnist. When the Tribune folded in 1966, he continued the column while working for a syndicate. In 1971 he joined the New York Times as a contract writer. In 1976 he became the second sportswriter to win the Pulitzer Prize, based on his literary quality, vitality and freshness of viewpoint. His humor and persistent irreverence for the sports establishment shines through his work. "There is a need for recreation in society, and it’s no accident that the Coliseum in Rome was built so well it’s still standing," he wrote. "But I don’t think that New York City should help anyone build a new stadium any more than I think they should help Macy’s build a new store." An 11-word sentence immortalized him for all sportswriters: "Baseball is a dull game only for those with dull minds."

Though there were times during World War II when he felt almost desperately useless being a sports writer, he concluded, "…the world isn’t all serious, is it?" He made several forays into political journalism by covering the 1956 and 1968 party conventions so well that he was asked by his editors to write politics full time. He turned them down and never regretted it.

Although he seemed to drift into sports writing, he has proven to be one of its most enduring practitioners. Collections of Smith’s columns were published as "Strawberries in the Wintertime," "Out of the Red" and "Red Smith on Baseball." He wrote several other books, including "The New York Times Book of Baseball History: Major League Highlights from the Pages of the New York Times."

After 47 years as a sportswriter, Smith took on teaching a course called "Sports and the City," at New York’s New School for Social Research, while still turning out his column four times a week for the Times. Students signed up for one reason: to listen to Smith tell stories about people he had known in sports.

Smith was married to Phyllis, a red-head. He enjoyed trout fishing in his leisure time. Red Smith died on 1/15/1982, Stanford, CT.

On 09/25/1999 (the 94th anniversary of his birth) the Green Bay Area Public School District held a dedication ceremony for the Red Smith School. Smith’s two children, Kit Halloran and "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer" correspondent Terry Smith were scheduled to appear.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Social : End a program of study 1927 (Graduated from Notre Dame)
  • Work : New Career 1936 (Began writing in Philadephia)
  • Work : New Job 1945 (New York Herald-Tribune)
  • Work : Gain social status 1954 (Most widely syndicated sports columnist)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1956 (Covered political party convention)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1968 (Covered political party convention)
  • Work : New Job 1971 (Contract writer for the New York Times)
  • Work : Prize 1976 (Pulitzer Prize)
  • Death, Cause unspecified 15 January 1982 (Age 76)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Gain social status 25 September 1999 (Public schools dedication ceremony)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Aaron Fischer quotes Ira Berkow, "Red, A Biography of Red Smith, The Life and Times of a Great American Writer," Times books, 1986, New York, p.5.


  • Traits : Personality : Humorous, Witty
  • Family : Relationship : Marriage more than 15 Yrs (Long term)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Same Job more than 10 yrs (Writing field over 50 years)
  • Lifestyle : Social Life : Outdoors (Trout fishing)
  • Vocation : Education : Teacher (Public school)
  • Vocation : Writers : Columnist/ journalist (Famed sportswriter and columnist)
  • Vocation : Writers : Textbook/ Non-fiction (Sports books)
  • Notable : Awards : Pulitzer prize (Literature)
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession