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Ex-Sports Editor Thad Johnson Dies

January 24, 2002

BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) _ Thad Johnson, who worked for more than 40 years at the Beaumont Enterprise, died Wednesday at a Louisiana hospital. He was 87.

As a youth in the mid-1920s, Johnson delivered the Enterprise by horseback in his hometown of Reeves, La. He covered his first football game for the newspaper in 1933.

Johnson was sports editor from 1943-71. He then served five years as Louisiana sports editor for the Enterprise and Journal before retiring in 1977.

At Johnson’s urging, during a 1949 meeting of the Texas Sports Writers Association, plans were made for a Texas Sports Hall of Fame. The hall’s inaugural inductee, baseball star Tris Speaker, was selected two years later. Johnson was one of six charter members of its writers’ division.

Johnson also was chairman of the committee that engineered the building of Beaumont’s Babe Didriksen Zaharias Memorial and Museum.

Services were scheduled for Friday in Le Blanc Cemetery in Reeves.

Johnson is survived by sisters-in-law Dorothy Eugene Shelby and Joyce Harvey, both of Golden Meadow, La.; and nephews Ernest Amos III of Golden Meadow; and Dennis Eugene Turner of Granada Hills, Calif.

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