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Murray Olderman – RIP

Famed sports cartoonist Murray Olderman has passed away.


Murray Olderman
March 27, 1922 – June 10, 2020

SPORTS CARTOONIST (yeah, he merits the upper case), sports columnist

From the notice:

Marty Appel posted that Murray Olderman died at the age of 98.
Murray Olderman profiled and drew sports cartoons of every major sports figure of the past 60 years, from Mickey Mantle to Joe Namath and Bear Bryant to Tiger Woods.For 35 years he was a syndicated columnist and cartoonist whose work was distributed by Newspaper Enterprise association to 650 daily newspapers. After serving as executive editor of NEA, he retired from the syndicate, but remained active as a writer and artist.

From the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame:

Sports columnist and cartoonist Murray Olderman’s work appeared in 750 daily newspapers for the greater part of 35 years. His columns and cartoons were distributed by the Newspaper
Enterprise Association (NEA), a Scripps- Howard syndicate. Olderman is also the author of eleven books and illustrator
of nine others. He is the founder of the Jim Thorpe Trophy—for the National Football League’s Most Valuable Player, and the founder of the Maurice Podoloff Trophy—for the National Basketball Association’s MVP. His football murals hang at the Football
Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

In 1974, and again in 1979, Olderman was named Sports Cartoonist of the Year by the National Cartoonists Society. He received the Pro Football Writers Association’s Dick McGann Award in 1979, as outstanding professional football writer. In 1991, the (college)
Football Writers Association of America honored him with their Mc-
Grane Award. And, he has served as president of the Football Writers Association of America.

From the Medill School of Journalism:

Murray Olderman (MSJ47) was inducted into the Medill Hall of Achievement in 2014.

Olderman has profiled and drawn sports cartoons of every major sports figure in the past 60 years, from Mickey Mantle to Joe Namath and Bear Bryant to Tiger Woods, Olderman. For 35 years he was a syndicated columnist and cartoonist whose work was distributed by Newspaper Enterprise Association to 650 daily newspapers. After serving as executive editor of NEA, he retired from the syndicate but remains active as a writer and artist.

A 2017 profile from the Columbia Missourian.

Starting in the era of long-sleeved football jerseys and 25-cent hot dogs, Murray Olderman spent his days hanging around big league athletes, writing stories and transforming the players into cartoon versions of themselves for newspapers and card decks.

Olderman’s professional career as a sports cartoonist and journalist began in 1947 after his time as an intelligence officer in World War II. He started off as a rookie in 1941, when he published his first illustration in the Columbia Missourian as a journalism student in his junior year at MU. The drawing depicted Bob Steuber, a halfback on the Missouri football team.

From Prabook:

Olderman was hired by the McClatchy Newspapers of Sacramento as a sports cartoonist. Olderman”s work appeared in 750 daily newspapers for the greater part of 35 years.

His columns and cartoons were distributed by the Newspaper Enterprise Association (National Education Association), a Scripps-Howard syndicate.

Olderman”s employment with the National Education Association began in 1952. He became its sports editor in 1964. Executive editor in 1968.

And a contributing editor in 1971.

Although he “retired” in 1987, he was active until the news service was overtaken by a larger corporation. He also founded the National Education Association All-Pro team in 1954, which ran though 1992.

 

A recognized master of a cartooning art that seems to be going quicker than the other genres.

The New York Times has an obituary.

He worked briefly at The Sacramento Bee and The Minneapolis Star before the Newspaper Enterprise Association hired him in 1952 to develop a daily sports comic strip. But that idea never panned out. Working out of the syndicate’s New York office, he began turning out general sports cartoons, columns and features instead.

Community Comments

#1 Kip Williams
June/11/2020
@ 5:43 pm

Wait! I was just about to find out about the “batting donut”!

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