Dick Gordon (sports writer)

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Dick Gordon
Born Charles Richards Gordon
(1911-01-15)January 15, 1911
St. Paul, Minnesota
Died December 8, 2008(2008-12-08) (aged 97)
St. Paul, Minnesota
Other names Scoop
Education Princeton University
Occupation Sports journalist
Spouse(s) Adelaide

Charles Richards Gordon, known as Dick "Scoop" Gordon (January 15, 1911[1] – December 8, 2008), was an American sports journalist whose works were a regular feature in venerable sports magazines like The Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, and Baseball Digest.[2][3] After earning his nickname "Scoop" in 1930 by reporting for The Daily Princetonian that golfing legend Bobby Jones would be retiring from active competition, Gordon went on to a sports reporting career which ended in 2008.[4][5][6]


Charles Richards Gordon grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, the son of Charles William Gordon, the proprietor of the fur clothing manufacturer Gordon & Furguson, Inc.[7][8][9] His mother, Charlotte Bishop Gordon, was a native of Connecticut.[10][11] At the time of the 1920 United States Census, Gordon was living with his parents, an older sister (Virginia), and two servants at 378 Summit Avenue in St. Paul,[10] in the home of his grandfather, Richards Gordon, a deacon of the Episcopal Church and a board member of the new "St. Paul Institute" (now the Science Museum of Minnesota).[12][13][14] The younger Gordon attended St. Paul Academy and wrote for the school newspaper Now and Then. The school's headmaster reportedly opined that Gordon was a better writer than F. Scott Fitzgerald,[9] who had been a student at the St. Paul Academy from 1908 to 1911.

Princeton and early career[edit]

Gordon later attended Princeton University, graduating in 1933. While attending Princeton, he was a reporter for The Daily Princetonian. He received the nickname "Scoop" in 1930 for being the first to report that professional golfer Bobby Jones was retiring from the sport.[5] After graduating from Princeton, Gordon returned to Minnesota and became a sports writer for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. In January 1939, he joined the Chicago Daily News as a sports writer.[15]

World War II[edit]

During World War II, he served in the United States Marine Corps for 26 months. He served as a Marine Combat Correspondent in the Pacific Theater of Operations. In November 1943, his story about a U.S. Army baseball team that endured six months at Guadalcanal was published in The Sporting News.[16] After over two years of combat action, Sergeant Gordon was returned to Minneapolis and worked for a time as a U.S. Marine recruiter. On April 26, 1945, Gordon married Adelaide Washburne, a Smith graduate who had been teaching at the University of Minnesota and worked in the American Red Cross during World War II.[17] After the war ended, Gordon returned to his job as a sports reporter for the Chicago Daily News.[18]

Post-war career[edit]

From the late 1940s through the 1970s, Gordon was one of the leading sports writers in the United States. Between 1946 and 1976, almost 250 of Gordon's works were published in The Sporting News, an American-based sports magazine established in 1886.[19] From 1949 to 1970, Gordon's baseball writings were a recurring feature in Baseball Digest, the oldest continuously-published baseball magazine in the United States. When Sports Illustrated magazine launched in the mid-1950s, Gordon was one of the budding journal's first writers.[6] On a daily basis, Gordon worked the sports desk for the Minneapolis Star,[20] the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and the Villager newspapers in the Twin Cities.[21] He wrote articles about the Minnesota Twins baseball team, the Minnesota Golden Gophers, and the Minnesota Vikings. Gordon covered the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley, California where the U.S. men's ice hockey team won gold. He continued to write for the Villager until he retired after a long career in early 2008.[4]

Family and death[edit]

Dick Gordon and his wife Adelaide spent 61 years together, their marriage producing three boys. Adelaide died in early 2007, and Gordon followed on December 8, 2008.[4][5][17] Sports Illustrated, the Star Tribune and his college newspaper all reported the passing.

Selected works[edit]

As an active sportswriter for almost eighty years, Gordon wrote thousands of articles on subjects ranging from baseball to hockey. The following are a small sampling of his works, listed chronologically:


  1. ^ Public record documentation for Charles Gordon, born 15 Jan 1911, residing at 38 Kenwood Pkwy, Saint Paul, MN, 55105-3512 (1993). Ancestry.com. U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 1 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
  2. ^ Blegen, Theodore; Heilbron, Bertha (2004). "Bobby Marshall". Minnesota history. Minnesota Historical Society. 59: 171. ISSN 0026-5497. Retrieved July 24, 2011. 
  3. ^ Orodenker, Richard (2001). "Dick Gordon". Dictionary of literary biography: American sportswriters and writers on sport. The Gale Group. 241: 123. Retrieved July 24, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c Christensen, Joe. "Dick Gordon, longtime Twin Cities sportswriter, dies at 97". The Minneapolis Star Tribune. The Minneapolis Star Tribune. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c "Charles Richards Gordon '33". Princeton Alumni Weekly. Trustees of Princeton University. June 10, 2009. Retrieved July 26, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "For The Record". Sports Illustrated. Time Inc. December 29, 2008. Archived from the original on December 8, 2009. Retrieved July 26, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Gordon & Ferguson: An Inventory of Its Records". Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  8. ^ Census entry for Charles W. Gordon and family. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Census Place: St Paul, Ramsey, Minnesota; Roll: 1118; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 94; Image: 1118.0.
  9. ^ a b "Charles Richards Gordon". Star Tribune Obituaries. April 19, 2009. 
  10. ^ a b Census entry for Charles W. Gordon and family. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Census Place: St Paul Ward 7, Ramsey, Minnesota; Roll: T625_853; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 74; Image: 1131.
  11. ^ "Gordon-Bishop". The New York Times. November 24, 1898. (reflecting mother's maiden name of Charlotte L'Estrange Bishop)
  12. ^ Journal of the Proceedings of the Forty-Fifth Annual Council of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Minnesota. St. Paul, Minnesota: Evans and Company. June 5, 1902. p. 128. Retrieved July 29, 2011. 
  13. ^ American Art Directory. 8. American Federation of Arts. R.R. Bowker. 1911. p. 425. Retrieved July 29, 2011. 
  14. ^ "About the Museum". Science Museum of Minnesota website. Science Museum of Minnesota. Retrieved July 29, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Squibs from St. Paul". The Sporting News. January 26, 1939. 
  16. ^ Dick Gordon (Marine Combat Correspondent) (November 25, 1943). "Long Pacific Win Streak Threatened by Leathernecks". The Sporting News. 
  17. ^ a b "Adelaide W. Gordon obituary". Star Tribune. January 28, 2007. Retrieved August 1, 2011. 
  18. ^ Dick Gordon (of the Chicago Daily News) (November 27, 1946). "Charles (The Man) Comiskey II Gets Sox Presidency as 21st Birthday Gift". The Sporting News. 
  19. ^ "Paper of Record home page". Paper of Record. (Archives of The Sporting News are available on the "Paper of Record" web site by subscription. A search of those archives reveals 247 articles written by Dick Gordon and published in The Sporting News.)
  20. ^ "The Fourth Estate". Editor & Publisher. Editor & Publisher Co. 103: 7. 1970. Retrieved July 24, 1970.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  21. ^ Gelfand, Louis I.; Heath, Harry E. (1969). Modern Sportswriting. Iowa State University Press. p. 171. Retrieved July 24, 2011.