Bert Rosenthal, RIP, some thoughts on a fine track & field writer, by Larry Eder


Bert Rosenthal, one of the finest sports journalist of his generation, has died at the age of 79. Bert died on November 15, 2015 in Scottsdale.


FILE - This Jan. 10, 1980, file photo, shows Associated Press sports writer Bert Rosenthal in New York. Rosenthal, who became one of the top track and field writers in the United States in more than four decades with The Associated Press, died Sunday night, Nov. 15, 2015, in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he had lived since his retirement from the AP in 2001. He was 79. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler, File) The Associated Press

If you read anything on track and field from 1970 to 2001, in U.S. newspapers, you read stories by Bert Rosenthal. Bert was a keen observer of the sport, who possessed a keen work ethic. I believe that he covered seven Summer Olympics and all of the World Championships from 1983 to 1999.

His Bronx accent never left him, but what was most telling was his attention to detail and his no b.s. approach to writing about the sport. Bert knew had to contact anyone and everyone. An interviewer with Bert knew that he might not agree with them, he might not even like them, but he would be fair and honest.

Bert Rosenthal loved the sport. He was, like the late James Dunaway, a protector of the sport as well. Rosenthal did not suffer fools.

I recall a conversation about a particularly colorful character in American athletics who had tried to hide a story from Bert. Bert finished his interview, and took his notes, and then sat down in the press room. "After someone lies to you, you know one thing about them, they are liars." was a Bert Rosenthal comment.

The AP crew treated Bert with reverence, as did many of us who joined him at many of the events. Bert could write about any sport. Near the end of his career, Bert ended up in the hospital in Sydney due to his heart problems. I remember hearing about it from James Dunaway. Bert had finished a story on deadline while in the hospital.

Bert Rosenthal, as Reuter's Gene Cherry noted, was one of the finest track writers of his generation.

PhotoRun's Victor Sailer wrote to that, above all else, Bert Rosenthal was a great friend to other reporters and photographers and a gentleman.

Bert Rosenthal will be missed.

Bert Rosenthal, RIP, from EME News

SCOTTSDALE (USA): Former athletics journalist Bert Rosenthal has died at the age of 79, report AP. Rosenthal joined the AP as a statistician in 1957 and was the AP's track and field writer from 1972 until his retirement in 2001. Rosenthal covered seven Olympics, from Montreal to Sydney, as well as every world track championships during that span. He was a President of the Track and Field Writers of America (TAFWA) for two years. He had a long history of heart problems and had been in failing health for some time.

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