New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Category Archives: Public relations

Philip J. Burke

Philip J. Burke (Public relations.  Born, Yonkers, NY, Jan. 11, 1935; died, Millville, DE, Aug. 23, 2000.)  A Fordham graduate who became Columbia’s sports information director, Philip John Burke was sports editor of the Sunday Sun of Teaneck, N.J., from 1958-60.  Burke was with Columbia for over four years (1960-64) before joining the public relations staff of the Rangers.  In 1966, he moved to Roosevelt Raceway.  Burke returned to the Garden in 1967 to assist in publicizing the opening of the new building at Penn Station, which took place Feb. 11, 1968.  In later years, he worked for the Bicycle Manufacturers Association, a Washington, D.C., trade group, was a radio talk show host and wrote sports for weekly newspapers.  Burke’s father was with The New York Times for 42 years, his younger brother became chief of police in Teaneck, N.J., and his son, Sean, was associated with The Washington Post.

Rick Cerrone

Rick Cerrone (Public relations.  Born, Mount Vernon, NY, Nov. 29, 1954.)  A founder of his own magazine at age 22, Richard Joseph Cerrone later became the Yankees’ longest-serving publicist since Bob Fishel.  Cerrone founded Baseball Quarterly in 1977 and served as publisher during the life of the magazine, which later became a bi-monthly.  In 1981, he became the assistant director of public relations in the Office of the Commissioner, spent a year co-hosting a sports talk show on WNEW-AM (1987), and was vice president, public relations, for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1987-93) before joining the Yankees in 1996.  He left after the 2006 season to work for Dan Klores Communications for three years and then became a motivational speaker.

Kevin DeMarrais

Kevin DeMarrais (Public relations.  Born, Teaneck, NJ, July 13, 1942.)  Now established as a business writer for The Record of Hackensack, N.J., Kevin Gerard DeMarrais had a long history of sports public relations.  DeMarrais served as an assistant at the old International Soccer League in the summer of 1964 following his graduation from Columbia.  He was sports information director at Bucknell in Lewisburg, Penna., for a year.  DeMarrais returned to Columbia in Aug. 1965 as sports information director.  Except for a two-year Army hitch (1966-68), he held that position for almost 19 years.  He left in April 1984 to become senior vice president at Sports Information Data Base in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.  In 1986, he became a sportswriter for The Record and, after a stretch with Porter Novelli public relations, joined the business staff of the paper in 1992.  DeMarrais continued for a decade to write a boating column for the sports section.  He was also a part-time press assistant for the Jets (1963-84), the N.A.S.L. Cosmos (1976-84) and the U.S. Olympic Committee (1981-83).

Dennis D’Agostino

Dennis D’Agostino (Public relations.  Born, Brooklyn, NY, July 31, 1957.)  A Fordham graduate whose career began with the A.P., Dennis D’Agostino later worked for both the Mets and Knicks.  D’Agostino was a statistician and sportswriter for the A.P. (1978-83) before serving as the Mets’ assistant public relations director for five seasons (1983-87).  He then joined the Knicks as publicity manager, subsequently becoming their director of publications.  D’Agostino has authored two books – This Date in New York Mets History (1982) and Garden Glory (2003).  At the close of his 12-year stint (1987-99) with the Knicks, he was honored with the Marc Splaver/Howie McHugh “Tribute to Excellence” Award by the N.B.A. public relations directors.  He is married to sportswriter Helene Elliott.

Bill Esposito

Bill Esposito (Public relations.  Born, Brooklyn, NY, Sept. 9, 1932; died, East Patchogue, LI, Sept. 9, 1995.)  William Esposito was sports information director at St. John’s for 23 years (1961-84) and served as president of CoSIDA, the college sports information directors’ organziation, in 1976-77.  He was a noted authority on jazz music who lectured extensively on the subject and won a bronze star for gallantry in the Korean War.

Joey Goldstein

Joey Goldstein (Public relations.  Born, Conway, SC, July 20, 1927; died, Boca Raton, FL, Feb. 14, 2009.)  Cast in the mold of the great Broadway press agents of the 1930s and ’40s, Joey Goldstein carved a unique position for himself in the world of sports as the most dynamic, exciting and, sometimes, controversial public relations man in the field.  For 15 years (1954-1969), Goldstein made Roosevelt Raceway in Westbury, Long Island, the center of his operations and his work on behalf of the George Morton Levy trotting plant became legendary.  His promotional efforts generated a new level of consciousness among the sports fans for harness racing.  Goldstein employed pigeons to deliver post-position draws for events, created arguments over the impact of overnight drivers on their horses and rescued trotters from Argentine revolutions just in time for the race.  He began his own public relations firm in Manhattan in 1969 and represented not only the harness racing industry but such major New York events as the New York City Marathon, the Millrose Games as well as attractions such as the Saudi Arabian Olympic soccer team.  Goldstein began stringing for the old World-Telegram while at Seward Park High School, worked briefly for The Sun before it folded on Jan. 4, 1950, and then assisted the late Lester Scott in the basketball department at Madison Square Garden before moving to Roosevelt Raceway. He ranked as perhaps the most outstanding name in his field since the days of Dick Maney, Steve Hennigan and Bill Doll.

Murray Goodman

Murray Goodman (Public relations.  Born, Pekrokov, Russia, Jan. 1, 1914; died, Toms River, NJ, Mar. 8, 1996.)  Coming to the United States at age five, Murray Goodman grew up into the sports field in the 1920s, the so-called “Golden Age of American Sports,” but once became so disgusted with the business that he became a top insurance salesman.  Goodman worked as a sportswriter for the Hearst Syndicate’s wire service, the Universal Service.  In 1931, the U.S. merged into the International News Service and Goodman went along into the new operation, which was headquartered in the Daily Mirror building on East 45th Street.  But he gradually became disenchanted with the sports environment and left I.N.S. to sell insurance.  Goodman actually got into the boxing publicity business by something of an accident.  When French champion Marcel Cerdan came to the U.S., his promoters were aware of Goodman through his insurance connections and hired him to do publicity.  From there, Goodman became one of the premier boxing publicists in the history of the sport.  From 1949 to 1960, he was the chief publicist for the Madison Square Garden boxing operation.  Subsequently, he worked for a dozen years for Don King, who emerged as a major power in the sport during Goodman’s tenure.  Goodman left the Garden to become the public relations man for Yonkers Raceway in 1960 and two years later moved into another sport when he was hired by Harry Wismer, who owned the New York Titans of the American Football League.

John Halligan

John Halligan (Pulbic relations.  Born, Englewood, NJ, Feb. 25, 1941; died, Franklin Lakes, NJ, Jan. 20, 2010.)  Long associated with the Rangers, John Thomas Halligan became the resident historian of hockey in New York as an executive with the N.H.L.  Halligan came to the Rangers out of Fordham in 1963 as assistant to club publicist Herb Goren.  He succeeded Goren as public relations director in 1964 and 10 years later added the responsibility of business manager.  Halligan was the N.H.L. director of communications for three years (1983-86) and returned to the Rangers for four years (1986-90).  He served as vice president, communications, and director of community relations before returning to the N.H.L. in 1990, where he served as director of communications and special projects.  Halligan was instrumental in the creation of the N.H.L.’s Lester Patrick Award (1966) – which he won in 2007 – founded the Rangers Alumni Association (1981), and conceived and developed the N.H.L. Milestone Program (1982).  He also helped to develop the N.H.L. Presidents’ Trophy in 1985.  Halligan is the treasurer of the “Ice Hockey in Harlem” program and serves on numerous committees, including the selection committee of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.  Halligan has also written several books, including the official 75th anniversary book of the Rangers (2000).  He retired from the N.H.L. in 2006.


Jay Horwitz

Jay Horwitz (Public relations.  Born, New York, NY, Aug. 14, 1945.)  An omnipresence with the Mets, Jay Edward Horwitz has been the club’s public relations director for more than two decades.  Horwitz began that job April 1, 1980, after tours as sports information director at N.Y.U. (1969-72) and Fairleigh Dickinson (1972-80).  Horwitz became vice president, media relations, Feb. 7, 2001.  He started his career as a sportswriter for the Herald News of Passaic, N.J., in 1967, after graduating from N.Y.U., where he majored in journalism.  Horwitz also holds a master’s degree in political science from N.Y.U. (1969).

Red Patterson

Red Patterson (Public relations.  Born, Long Island City, NY, Feb. 1, 1909; died, Fullerton, CA, Feb. 10, 1992.)  Arthur E. (Red) Patterson had the unique distinction of being the first public relations director of the New York Yankees and the last one for the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Patterson, a New York University graduate, covered baseball for the New York Herald Tribune during much of his 17-year career with the paper and served as chairman of the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers (1943-44) before joining the National League publicity operation in Dec. 1945.  In 1946, he became the first full-time public relations director for a major league team when he joined the Yankees.  Prior to that time, what publicity there was generally was handled by the club’s road secretary, who doubled as a part-time press agent.  Patterson stayed with the Yankees until 1954 when he moved to the Dodgers. During his tenure with the Yankees, he was instrumental in making Old Timers’ Day an annual event.  He also introduced the tape measure to baseball.  Mickey Mantle walloped a massive home run off the Senators’ Chuck Stobbs in Washington on April 17, 1953, and Patterson, as the legend has it, went outside, paced off the distance from the back of the ballpark, and found the youngster who collected the ball.  After doing that, he returned to the press box to announce the homer traveled 565 feet.  Jane Leavy’s book on Mantle has debunked that myth.  Home run measurements are now a standard item in baseball statistics.  When the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958, Patterson went along, and later served as president of the then-California Angels (1975-77).

About This Dictionary

The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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About Bill Shannon

A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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