Bert Sugar

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Bert Sugar
Bert Sugar (right) with former world middleweight champion Emile Griffith in January 2010
Herbert Randolph Sugar

June 7, 1936
DiedMarch 25, 2012(2012-03-25) (aged 75)
Alma materUniversity of Maryland,
University of Michigan
OccupationBoxing writer, sports historian
Years active1968–2012
Spouse(s)Suzanne Sugar
AwardsInternational Boxing Hall of Fame, Ellis Island Medal of Honor

Herbert Randolph Sugar (June 7, 1936 – March 25, 2012) was a boxing writer and sports historian recognizable by his trademark fedora and unlit cigar.[1][2]


Early years[edit]

Sugar was born in Washington, D.C. on June 7, 1936 to Harold Randolph Sugar and Anne Edith Rosensweig Sugar.[3]


Sugar graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1953, where he was a reporter and columnist for the school's newspaper. His entry in the high school yearbook for that year predicts he "will become a radio announcer or sports writer." Sugar graduated from the University of Maryland. He earned a JD and MBA from the University of Michigan in 1960. After passing the bar exam, he worked in the advertising business in New York City for ten years.[4] During his time in the advertising business, he worked at several different agencies, including J Walter Thompson, PKL and McCann Erickson.


Sugar bought Boxing Illustrated magazine in 1969 and was editor until 1973.[5] From 1979 to 1983 he was editor and publisher of The Ring. In 1988 he once again began editing Boxing Illustrated. In 1998 he founded Bert Sugar's Fight Game.

Sugar authored over 80 books, focusing on his favorite sports boxing and baseball. Various boxing books that Sugar has written include Great Fights, Bert Sugar on Boxing, 100 Years of Boxing, Sting like a Bee (with José Torres), The Ageless Warrior (Preface, with Mike Fitzgerald) and Boxing's Greatest Fighters. Sugar was called "The Greatest Boxing Writer of the 20th Century" by the International Veterans Boxing Association.[6]

In May 2009 he and Running Press published Bert Sugar's Baseball Hall of Fame: A Living History of America's Greatest Game.[7]

Sugar also co-wrote a book about Harry Houdini titled Houdini, His Life and Art with James Randi.

Other media[edit]

Sugar appeared in several films playing himself, including Night and the City, The Great White Hype and Rocky Balboa. Interviews with Sugar feature in Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson. Along with Lou Albano, he helped write The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pro Wrestling.[8] He wrote a regular sports column for Smoke Magazine, a quarterly cigar lifestyle magazine. Sugar was described by Bob Costas as being "Runyonesque" (in reference to Damon Runyon); and as "one of the foremost historians alive," by the Boston Globe.


Sugar was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in January 2005. In May 2010, he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In 2011, he was featured on The Pentagon Channel's Armed Forces Boxing Championships. Sugar had been scheduled to broadcast the 2012 matches, but his declining health prevented him from doing so. Sugar is the grand-nephew of famed Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach.


Sugar died from cardiac arrest on March 25, 2012 at age 75. His family was at his bedside at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, New York. Prior to his death, Sugar had been battling lung cancer.[2]


  1. ^ Mathews, Wallace (March 26, 2012). "We'll never see another Bert Sugar: Iconic writer always had a cigar in mouth, a fedora on head and a joke on his lips". ESPN.
  2. ^ a b "Iconic Boxing Writer And Historian Bert Sugar Has Died". Retrieved March 25, 2012.
  3. ^ US Census 1940 U.S. Census, Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  4. ^ James B. Roberts, Alexander G. Skutt. The boxing register: International Boxing Hall of Fame official record book. 2006, page 751
  5. ^ Magno, Paul (March 26, 2012). "Boxing writer Bert Sugar, 75, dies". The Boxing Tribune. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  6. ^ "HBO boxing commentator profile". Retrieved November 11, 2011.
  7. ^ Nemec, David. Bert Sugar's Baseball Hall of Fame: A Living History of America's Greatest Game (9780762430246): Bert Randolph Sugar, Bruce Curtis: Books. ASIN 0762430249.
  8. ^ Albano, Lou; Sugar, Bert (1999). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pro Wrestling. Alpha Books. ISBN 0028623959.

External links[edit]