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

Category Archives: Sportswriter

Tom Keegan

Tom Keegan (Sportswriter.  Born, Rochester, NY, Mar. 22, 1959.)  After nearly two decades as a sportswriter, Thomas Joseph Keegan became the co-host of a New York sports radio talk show.  Following his graduation from Marquette, Keegan began his sportswriting career with the Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) in 1981.  He moved to Chicago, Ill., in 1989, joining The National sports daily.  When The National closed, Keegan became a columnist for the Daily Southtown in Chicago (1991-94).  During the 1994 season, he was the Orioles beat writer for The Sun of Baltimore, Md.  The following season, Keegan came to New York, beginning a seven-year run (1995-2002) as a baseball columnist for the Post.  On Sept. 2, 2002, he joined another former Post sportswriter, Wallace Matthews, as co-host of “Wally and the Keeg” (4-7 p.m.) on ESPN 1050 Radio.  But on Apr. 4, 2005, the program was cancelled and Keegan returned to newspaper work, becoming the sports editor of the Lawrence Journal-World in Kansas.

Robert F. Kelley

Robert F. Kelley (Sportswriter.  Born, Narragansett Pier, RI, Sept. 15, 1900; died, Huntington, NY, Dec. 14, 1975.)  Emerging as a man for many seasons, Robert Fulton Paul Anthony Kelley began his career at the New York Evening Post in 1920.  Kelley covered horse racing, a little baseball, polo, yachting, and even the occasional football game.  His knowledge of these wide-ranging events made him a valuable member of the staff.  In 1926, he switched to The Times, starting an 18-year stint on West 43rd Street, during which he became more of a racing writer.  Kelley became the publicist for the metropolitan area race tracks (Empire City, Belmont, Aqueduct, and Sarasota) in 1944.  Two years later, when the tracks formally organized into a group, he was in charge of their public relations.  This group became the New York Racing Association in 1955.  Kelley was the first publicity director for the fledgling International Soccer League at the Polo Grounds in 1960 and spent part of the 1961 season with the A.F.L. Titans.  In the final years of his working career, he was with the Thomas J. Deegan public relations firm in Rockefeller Center (1962-70).  Among his tasks at Deegan was handling N.Y.R.A. assignments and getting the City to name the new municipal stadium in Corona for New York attorney William A. Shea (q.v.).

Fred Kerber

Fred Kerber (Sportswriter.  Born, Jersey City, NJ, Aug. 12, 1952.)  Following several years at the Daily News, during which he worked cityside re-write and covered such high-profile beats as federal courts and police headquarters, Frederick Vincent Kerber transitioned into sports.  Kerber was a beat writer on the Islanders, Nets, Knicks, and Mets, as well as serving as the third baseball writer backing up on the Yankees.  After 16 years at the News (1974-90), he moved to the Post, where he has primarily covered the N.B.A., first on the Knicks and then on the Nets.  Kerber started his career while at St. Peter’s College, writing for the old Hudson Dispatch and the Jersey Journal.  His son, John Kerber, works in the Mets public relations department.

John Kieran

John Kieran (Sportswriter.  Born, New York, NY, Aug. 2, 1892; died, Rockport, MA, Dec. 10, 1981.)  Probably the most intellectual sports columnist ever in New York, John Francis Kieran was also the first regularly by-lined sportswriter ever at The New York Times.  Kieran graduated from Fordham in 1912 and joined The Times for the first time in 1915.  After service in World War I, he returned to the paper, but subsequently worked at the Herald Tribune and the New York American.  Kieran returned to The Times Jan. 1, 1927, to start the “Sports of The Times” column, which carried his byline.  It was the only byline to appear regularly, although some baseball stories had been bylined as early as 1925 (Harry Cross, W.C. (Bill) Corum, and James R. Harrison).  Kieran did the column every day for 12 years but left at Christmas 1942 to become a columnist at The Sun.  He also became a panelist on the popular radio show “Information Please,” which gave scope to his astonishing breadth of knowledge in a myriad of areas.  When the show’s producer, Dan Golenpaul, decided to start the Information Please Almanac in 1946, Kieran was the founding editor.  By the end of World War II in 1945, he had given up his column and concentrated on the successful radio program and, later, the almanac.  Kieran’s father was a New York high school principal who later served as president of Hunter College.

George King

George King (Sportswriter.  Born, Jersey City, NJ, Nov. 27, 1955.)  When Joel Sherman became the New York Post baseball columnist in 1997, George Anthony King succeeded him as the paper’s principal Yankees beat writer.  Before joining the Post, King had spent nearly 11 years with The Times in Trenton, N.J., where he had covered New York sports for three years (1986-89) before becoming the Phillies beat writer for the paper for eight seasons (1989-96).  He moved to the Post in January 1997.  King started his newspaper career with the old Daily Advance in Roxbury, N.J. (1983-85) before going to the Meridan (Conn.) Record Journal as a general assignment reporter in May 1985.  A year later, he moved to the Trenton Times.

Joe King

Joe King (Sportswriter.  Born, Jersey City, NJ, May 19, 1908; died, Ridgewood, NJ, Apr. 16, 1979.)  Recognized as one of the first writers to see pro football as a major national sport, Joseph King began his career as a yachting writer.  King joined the Evening Telegram in 1930.  The paper became the World-Telegram in 1931 and he continued to focus primarily on sailing until 1939, when he began to cover the Football Giants.  Although he was later to spend time covering the baseball Giants, Yankees, Dodgers, and Mets, it was pro football that engaged his attention.  King studied the game, seeking out players and coaches for explanations of strategy, and writing stories during the week before the game for the paper.  This approach was very uncommon at the time, when generally only the games themselves received any significant coverage outside of places such as Green Bay, Wisc.  King’s intense coverage of the sport enabled fans to grasp the nuances and teminology.  When the baseball Giants, his summer beat, left New York after the 1957 season, he focused even more on pro football.  This, coupled with the Giants’ N.F.L. championship in 1956 and the classic title game in 1958 against Baltimore, elevated the sport in the nation’s major news center.  In 1966, his paper was folded into the short-lived World Journal Tribune.  When that paper failed, King joined the Ridgewood (N.J.) Newspaper group in 1968 and rose to executive editor.

Bob Klapisch

Bob Klapisch (Sportswriter.  Born, New York, NY, Aug. 14, 1957.)  A former Columbia relief pitcher, Roberto Salvador Klapisch has covered New York baseball for three major newspapers since 1980.  Klapisch started at the New York Post, where he remained until 1987, rising from general assignment sportswriter to Yankees beat man.  He then spent six years at the Daily News (1988-94) before moving to The Record of Hackensack, N.J., in 1995.  For The Record, Klapisch is the principal baseball columnist.  He has written four books, the first of which, The Worst Team Money Could Buy (1993), was critical of the Mets’ failed extravagance in the early 1990s.  Co-written with John Harper, the book led to an angry clubhouse confrontation with highly-paid underachieving outfielder Bobby Bonilla. Three more baseball books followed, including one on the 1996 champion Yankees and another with Dwight Gooden (1999).  At Columbia, where he majored in political science, Klapisch was a righthander with a quirky delivery who was 4-3 over his last two seasons with several saves.  An all-B.C.S.L. pitcher at Leonia H.S., he began pitching in New Jersey’s Metropolitan League in 1977 and continues to do so.

Dave Klein

Dave Klein (Sportswriter.  Born, Newark, NJ, Mar. 10, 1940.)  Three times in six years, David S. Klein had his work chosen as the No. 1 submission to the Best Sports Stories anthology.  Klein was adjudged the winner in the national compendium in 1974 for his coverage of the Bobby Riggs-Billie Jean King tennis match in Houston, Tex.  He won in successive years (1977 and 1978) for an appreciation of deceased California columnist Wells Twombley and for his story on the Larry Holmes-Ken Norton heavyweight title fight in Las Vegas, Nev.  Klein was with The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., for 34 years (1961-95) and, despite numerous digressions, was the primary Football Giants beat writer for the paper.  In addition, he covered six Olympics from 1976 to 1992.  Klein was one of only eight writers to cover the first 32 Super Bowls and is the author of 28 books, including several novels.  Following his retirement from The Star-Ledger, he continued to cover the Giants for team weeklies and on-line services – TGN, Giants News, and E-Giants.

Moss Klein

Moss Klein (Sportswriter.  Born, Newark, NJ, July 27, 1950.)  Now deputy sports editor of the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, Moss H. Klein was the paper’s Yankees beat writer for 17 seasons (1976-92).  Klein went on the beat four years after joining The Star-Ledger and landed in the middle of a tumultuous period of Yankees history.  His first season marked the reopening of the renovated Yankee Stadium and the first Yankees pennant since 1964.  Previously, Klein had been primarily a basketball writer and was president of the Metropolitan Basketball Writers (1973-75).  He was a columnist for The Sporting News for 10 seasons (1982-91) and served as chairman of the New York chapter of the B.B.W.A.A. in 1983-84.  Klein also co-authored Damned Yankees (with Bill Madden) in 1990.  After leaving the Yankees beat, he worked on the desk of The Star-Ledger and was named deputy sports editor in 1996.  His father, Willie, was the paper’s sports editor for over 30 years (1962-93) and his older brother, Dave, was a sportswriter and columnist there (1961-95).

Jack Kofoed

Jack Kofoed (Sportswriter. Born, Philadelphia, PA, Dec. 17, 1894; died, Miami, FL, Dec. 27, 1979.) Starting in his native Philadelphia with the Public Ledger at age 17, John Kofoed came to New York in 1923 to join the Evening Telegram. Kofoed became a sports columnist at the Evening Post (1924-33), where he built a substantial reputation. He moved to the Journal-American briefly, but became more of a magazine writer for the next decade. A prolific writer, Kofoed wrote for some 200 different publications, did over a dozen books, and turned out screenplays. For the last 35 years of his life, he was a noted columnist for the Miami Herald (1944-79), covering a wide range of topics.

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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