James Patrick Murray (December 29, 1919 - August 16, 1998) was an American sportswriter at the Los Angeles Times from 1961 to 1998.
Many of his achievements include winning the NSSA's Sportswriter of the Year award an astounding fourteen times (twelve of those consecutively). In 1990, he won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for his 1989 columns, and the Baseball Hall of Fame awarded him the J. G. Taylor Spink Award in 1987. Cited as an influence by countless sports journalists, Murray was a fixture at the Los Angeles Times for over 30 years. After he won the Pulitzer in 1990, Murray modestly said he thought the prize winner should have had "to bring down a government or expose major graft or give advice to prime ministers. Correctly quoting Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda shouldn't merit a Pulitzer Prize." He was offered $1 million to join The National Sports Daily, but declined.
Prior to his tenure with the Los Angeles Times, Murray was a writer and columnist for Sports Illustrated from 1953–1961 and Time magazine from 1948-1955. He was also a reporter for the Los Angeles Examiner from 1944–1948, the New Haven (CT) Register and The Hartford Times. A native of Hartford, Connecticut, Murray graduated from that city's Trinity College in 1943.
Murray was noted for his great, albeit occasionally caustic, sense of humor and ability to turn a phrase, including the following: he wrote of the Indianapolis 500 automobile race, "Gentlemen, start your coffins"; that baseball player Rickey Henderson "has a strike zone the size of Hitler's heart"; and that UCLA basketball coach John Wooden was "so square he was divisible by four".
Although eventually afflicted with blindness, Murray continued covering and writing about sports as long as he was able...
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