Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Halberstam will be missed


David Halberstam, one of America’s best writers, died earlier this evening in a car accident near San Francisco. He was in California working on his 22nd book, this one on NFL hall of famer Y.A. Tittle who now lives in that area.

Halberstam, 73, won a Pulitzer for international reporting in 1964, when he covered the Vietnam War for the New York Times. A few years later, he quit full-time journalism to write books on a variety of topics. His 2002 book, "War in a Time of Peace," nearly earned a second Pulitzer (it was runner-up for non-fiction.)

"I think that he was the nation's premier journalist," said John Seigenthaler, Tennessean chairman emeritus and a friend in an article in the Nashville Tennessean.

I know Halberstam best for his sports books that includes “Teammates,” which is about several Boston Red Sox teammates driving to Florida to see Ted Williams before he died. A few weeks ago, I finished "The Education of a Coach," a book that every football beat writer should read. The book, which focuses on Patriots coach Bill Belichick, reveals how a coach in the NFL thinks – and offers lessons everybody covering football should seek. A great read from a great writer. He will be missed.

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