1988 – Fred Russell
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, on August 27, 1906, sportswriting legend Fred Russell wrote more than 12,250 columns during his outstanding 70 year career as a sports editor and columnist. Russell attended Vanderbilt University, graduating with a law degree. However, in 1929, when his he lost his job due to a merger, he abandoned his law career to take a position as a beat reporter for the Nashville Banner. Later that year he transferred to the sports department to take up the role of sports editor and columnist. He remained in that position until 1998, when the paper closed. After finishing at the Banner, Russell took a position as a columnist at The Tennessean, where he finished off his 70th year as a sportswriter before retiring in 1999. During his career Russell received many awards, including the inaugural Grantland Rice Memorial Award, in 1958, and the Red Smith Award for his contributions to journalism, in 1984. Along with his work as a newspaper columnist, Russell also wrote a number of sports humor books. Russell died in 2003. He was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame on May 3,1988.