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Bonner, Robert (28 April 1824–06 July 1899), newspaper publisher and horseman, was born in Ramelton, Northern Ireland, the son of Scotch-Irish parents who schooled him in the strict Presbyterian tenets of abstinence, hard work, and faith in the Scriptures. At age fifteen he evidently came to the United States with an older brother and soon found work as a printer’s devil for the ...

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Chadwick, Henry (05 October 1824–20 April 1908), baseball sportswriter, was born in Jessamine Cottage, St. Thomas, Exeter, England, the son of Sir James Chadwick, a newspaper editor (mother’s name unknown). Chadwick and his parents came to the United States in September 1837 and settled in Brooklyn. Although trained to be a music teacher, Chadwick soon gravitated toward journalism. In 1844 he started contributing to the ...

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Coy, Ted (24 May 1888–08 September 1935), college athlete, coach, and sportswriter, was born Edward Harris Coy in Andover, Massachusetts, the son of Edward Gustin Coy, a master of Phillips Andover Academy, and Helen Eliza Marsh. He graduated from the Hotchkiss School in 1906, two years after his father, its first headmaster, died. Coy earned a B.A. degree in 1910 from Yale College, which had been attended by his father, brother, and two uncles, one of whom was former college president ...

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Eckersall, Walter Herbert (17 June 1886–24 March 1930), football player, referee, and sportswriter, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Walter Eckersall and Minnie Killerlain. Little is known about his family or early years except that as a boy of seven or eight he began playing “prairie football” on the streets and vacant lots of his neighborhood. This brand of football emphasized a wide-open style of play, including end runs and broken field running. This style ran counter to the prevailing line-smashing tactics that were then widely used in the eastern United States, where football was first developed. Eckersall would be a major force in popularizing this style of football during his career....

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Fixx, James Fuller (23 April 1932–20 July 1984), writer, was born in New York City, the son of Calvin Henry Fixx, a journalist, and Marlys Fuller. After completing his primary education, he attended the Garden Country Day School in Jackson Heights, New York, from 1947 to 1948, and he graduated from the Trinity School in New York City in 1951. Fixx attended Indiana University from 1951 to 1952 and then served as a clerk in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954 in Pusan, South Korea. In 1955 he entered Oberlin College and majored in English literature, with the goal of becoming either a journalist or a teacher. While studying at Oberlin, Fixx worked as a reporter and feature writer for the Oberlin ...

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Macfadden, Bernarr (16 August 1868–12 October 1955), physical culturist and publisher, was born Bernard Adolphus McFadden near Mill Spring, Missouri, the son of William R. McFadden and Mary Miller, farmers. A weak and sickly boy, he was virtually abandoned after his mother divorced her often drunken and violent husband. Both parents died before he was eleven, his father of alcoholism, his mother of tuberculosis. After serving on an Illinois farm, he worked in a Chicago hotel and in the St. Louis area as delivery boy, clerk, bookkeeper, and farm and construction laborer, and for a short time co-owned a St. Louis laundry....

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Paret, Jahail Parmly (03 October 1870–24 November 1952), tennis player, journalist, and author, was born in Bergen Point, New Jersey, the son of Henry Paret, a wealthy clothing merchant, and Anna Elizabeth Parmly, later the editor of Harper’s Handy Book for Girls (1910). Named for his maternal grandfather, Paret so disliked his first name that he constantly reduced it to a first initial and preferred to be called by his middle name. He graduated in 1886 from Grammar School 68 in New York City....

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Snyder, Jimmy "the Greek" (09 September 1919?–21 April 1996), gambler, newspaper columnist, and television sports broadcaster, was born Demetrios Georgios Synodinos in Steubenville, Ohio, the son of George Synodinos, owner of the White Star Meat Market, and Sultania Synodinos. In March 1928, when the boy was ten, his mother and his aunt, Theano Galanos, were murdered in front of the family home by Theano's estranged husband, a war hero suffering from “battle fatigue.” After his mother's death, his father moved with the three children to Kios, a Greek island. It was in Kios that young Demetrios learned to gamble, tossing stones for drachmas with the local teenagers....

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Walter J. Travis. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-102319).

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Travis, Walter John (10 January 1862–31 July 1927), golfer, golf course architect, and golfing magazine editor, was born in Malden, Victoria, Australia, the oldest child of John Travis and Susan Eyelet. He was educated in Melbourne, Australia, attending a public school and Trinity College. Depending on what source one reads, he came to New York City as a boy or around 1886 as a representative of an Australian importing firm. In 1890 he married Anne Bent, and the couple would have two children....