Dick Gordon, longtime Twin Cities sportswriter, dies at 97

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 8, 2008 - 11:34 PM

Dick Gordon, a longtime sportswriter for the Minneapolis Star whose first big scoop was Bobby Jones' decision to retire from pro golf in 1930, died Monday of natural causes at an assisted living center in St. Paul. He was 97.

Gordon -- who picked up the nickname "Scoop" -- was the editor of St. Paul Academy's student newspaper "Now and Then" and graduated from Princeton in 1933. He filed his scoop on Jones in the Daily Princetonian during the U.S. Open at Interlachen Country Club in Edina. The story was picked up by newspapers in New York.

After college, Gordon began reporting for the Pioneer Press. He moved to the Chicago Daily News before serving a 26-month tour with the Marines in the South Pacific during World War II. He worked full-time for the Minneapolis Star from 1946 to 1976.

During his newspaper career in Minneapolis, he also worked as a correspondent for Sports Illustrated. He covered the Gophers, Vikings and Twins, along with the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, Calif., where the United States won hockey gold.

"He always considered that the true miracle on ice," Gordon's son Charlie said.

After retiring, Gordon wrote special pieces for the Minneapolis Star until 1982 and continued writing for the Highland Villager in St. Paul past his 97th birthday in January.

Charlie Gordon recalled a day when his father introduced him to Willie Mays, Ted Williams and Sam Snead -- all at the same baseball game.

"He was the consummate professional and the consummate dad," Charlie said.

Gordon and his wife, Adelaide, were married 61 years before she died in 2007. They are survived by three sons and 10 grandchildren. Services are pending.

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