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

Dan Parker

Dan Parker (Sports editor.  Born, Waterbury, CT, July 1, 1893; died, Waterbury, CT, May 20, 1967.)  Among the longest-serving sports editors and columnists ever in New York, Daniel Francis Parker was titular head of the sports department at the Daily Mirror for 37 years (1926-63).  A physically large man (6’4”, 250 pounds), Parker was often pungent and acerbic but also compassionate (particularly with down-on-their-luck former athletes), often a crusader, and, on occasion, lightened his column with amusing rhythmic doggerel.  He began his career with the Waterbury American in 1913, but when the Mirror was launched in 1924, Parker was hired by sports editor Gene Fowler.  He thus served with the paper through its entire existence.  In later years, the actual production of the sports section of the paper (which for much of its life had a daily sale exceeding one million) was handled by others, including Harold Weisman and Irene Janowitz, technically Parker’s secretary.  But Parker remained as sports editor, devoting most of his time to composing his column, known for much of its run as “Broadway Bugle.”  He launched campaigns against fixed wrestling matches in the 1930s when the events were still billed as sports, against unscrupulous racetrack touts, and most notably, against underworld influence in boxing, an effort that produced investigations and convictions.  When the tabloid Mirror closed Oct. 16, 1963, Parker’s column was transferred to its Hearst-owned stablemate, the evening Journal-American.  Parker, however, continued to write from his office in the Mirror building at 235 East 45th Street until he retired in 1964.  He was the long-time president of the Damon Runyon Cancer Fund, founded by fellow Mirror columnist Walter Winchell.

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2 Comments to Dan Parker

  1. Mike Devlin's Gravatar Mike Devlin
    May 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m looking to obtain a copy of a picture taken by Dan Parker which appeared in the magazine section of the NY Daily Mirror in late August-early September 1961 of Roger Maris at bat. Any information or assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    • Jordan Sprechman's Gravatar Jordan Sprechman
      June 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mr. Devlin – There is microfilm for the Daily Mirror at the New York Public Library. Unfortunately, I don’t know where else to begin a search for a copy of that picture. Regards, Jordan Sprechman

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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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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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