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don williams, former longtime jets beat man for star-ledger, passes away at 79

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by shockey, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    he succumbed thursday after a short bout with cancer and removal of his bladder/pancreas. i dunno how many folks 'round here knew don, who was 'bought out' in '96 after covering the jets and baseball for 49 years at the l.i. press and then newark... but don was a class act who was among the wise elders who helped show me the ways of the nfl when i started out on the jets in '83 for the nydn.

    even though he hasn't been an active scribe for more than a decade, i didn't want his death to go without acknowledgment here. don was a class act, a gentleman who NEVER complained no matter the venue about the discomfort he endured due to a bad leg that required several surgeries when he was a child. he even became a mascot of sorts for leo durocher's dodgers in the early '40s. yeah, that hardass durocher was among the players who 'adopted' the lame child during spring trainings and at ebbetts field.

    and in the early '60s, don covered the football giants for a stretch. the giants who included a tight end named joe walton. so, after 'joe must go!' became hc of the nyj, it was always a kick to hear walton answer a news conference question from a 50-something, white-haired williams with, 'well, DONNIE....'

    walton was the only person who could get away with calling him 'donniedon was no 'donnie.' but it sure was fun to tease him about it.

    r.i.p. to a great mentor, a great role model and most of all, a cherished, dear friend...
  2. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    nice acknowledgment from randy lang on his jets' blog on the team's web site: http://blog.newyorkjets.com/2011/09/04/don-williams-long-time-jets-writer-did-it-his-way/
  3. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Sorry to hear this, losing another one of "us." Sounds like a good guy and a pro's pro.
  4. Pete Wevurski

    Pete Wevurski Member

    I concur wholeheartedly with Shockey. Enjoyed reading his Giants reports for years, then briefly had the chance to be his sports editor. We had a great talk over dinner (at the Bendix Diner, where we were served by a blind waiter -- can't make this stuff up) while Don was trying to decide his future. I came away very much impressed by his down to-earth earnestness, not only as it applied to his career but even more as it applied to his loved ones. Look up "nice guy" in a dictionary and you'll see his photo. RIP, Don.
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