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Remembering Columnist Jim Murray

August 18, 1998

Pulitzer Prize-winning sports columnist Jim Murray was remembered by colleagues, athletes and readers Monday after he died of cardiac arrest:

``In my opinion, he was the best sports writer in history. He knew more about everything than everybody else I ever knew. He could talk about Chaucer just like he could talk about Mark McGwire. He was just an amazing person.″ _ Edwin Pope, Miami Herald columnist.

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``There will be words in that space, but they won’t be the same.″ _ Bill Dwyre, Los Angeles Times sports editor.

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``As a writer, there is none equal. There will never be another one like him.″ _ Bill Shoemaker, Hall of Fame jockey.

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``He was not only the best sports writer I’ve ever known, but one of the best men, period.″ _ Jerry West, executive vice president of the Los Angeles Lakers.

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``I just had tremendous respect for him as a writer and as a person. He not only painted a very good picture, he did it in a very humorous way. You felt at ease with him and I just enjoyed his company.″ _ John Wooden, former UCLA basketball coach.

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``He made mornings special for so many readers, and we will miss him.″ _ Michael Parks, Los Angeles Times editor.

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``Like Red Smith, Shirley Povich and a select legion of reporters, Jim didn’t merely cover games _ he went between the lines, explaining to his readership the nuances and strategies that make sports such an integral part of the American experience.″ _ Pete Wilson, governor of California.

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``One of a kind. I could never wait to read his next column.″ _ Merv Griffin, television entrepreneur.

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``It’s murder trying to become Lou Gehrig when they make you bat behind Babe Ruth. Jim Murray is the sultan of sportswriting.″ _ Los Angeles Times sportswriter-turned-news columnist Mike Downey in Murray’s 1993 autobiography.

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