||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2010)|
May 3, 1942|
|Died||October 15, 2011
|Known for||Journalist, writer and commentator|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2010)|
McRae won the National Magazine Gold Award for sports journalism three times, the top honour in its field, plus two Silvers, and been nominated eight times. He won three Ontario Newspaper Association awards for his columns. He was runner-up finalist in 2006 for the National Newspaper Award in sports writing for his piece on former heavyweight boxer George Chuvalo. He won 10 column-writing Dunlop Awards for the Sun Media chain. In 2010, McRae was inducted into Algonquin College's Media And Design Hall Of Fame (Journalism) for lifetime achievement.
He wrote two books, Requiem For Reggie and The Victors and the Vanquished, both of which are collections of his magazine sports profiles. One of McRae's magazine articles in which he entered the world duck-calling contest was published in the book, The Treasury of Great Canadian Humour.
In 2002, McRae was awarded the Friendship Medal, the highest civilian honour by the Royal Canadian Legion, for his articles on matters pertaining to the military, not the least of which was his column-writing campaign over several weeks that raised some $250,000 from the public to make it possible for a large group of Canadian veterans to return to Ortona, Italy in 1998 for a reunion ceremony with surviving German vets defeated by the Canadians in the bloodiest battle of the Italian theatre 55 years earlier.
In 2007, McRae won the Canadian Consumers' Choice Man of the Year honour in a Leger Marketing poll of consumers in the Ottawa-Gatineau area. He worked for the following newspapers: Ottawa Journal, Cornwall Standard-Freeholder, Peterborough Examiner, Toronto Star, Canadian Magazine and Ottawa Citizen. He was a daily columnist for 20 years with the Ottawa Sun, the last 13 as a general-interest columnist.
He was a CBC-TV sports anchor in Toronto with his own nightly radio sports talk show. McRae wrote film biographies about Sugar Ray Leonard, Joe Montana, and marathoners Bill Rodgers and Alberto Salazar. Over the last 40 years of his life, he covered some of the biggest news stories. In 1996 he was accused by then CFL commissioner Larry Smith of being partially responsible for the folding of the Ottawa Rough Riders. McRae founded the Elvis Sighting Society in Ottawa in 1989, a non-profit registered charity that through its fund-raising events has currently raised upwards of $750,000 for various Ottawa-area charities.
On October 15, 2011, McRae died of a heart attack in Ottawa. McRae is survived by his daughters Jill and Caitie, sons Neil, Dave and Robert, daughter-in-law Danusha, sisters Laurie and Chris, brothers Bob, Bill and Steve, and grandchildren Lesya, Ayden and Paige.
- "Columnists: Earl McRae". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved November 30, 2010.