1928 - 2017
Legendary, and I suppose it is acceptable to use that term, New York City newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin died yesterday at the age of 88. I suppose that it is also acceptable to say that Breslin, a hard drinking (although he was sober for the last thirty years of his life), hard hitting, shoot from the hip newspaper guy was among the last types of newspapermen of his kind, right out of "The Front Page".
I first became aware of Breslin when I was barely a teenager and read his book about the hapless 1962 New York Mets, "Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?". Over the years, I read a couple of other of Breslin's books, including his comic Mob novel, "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight", and, a few years ago, his biography of Branch Rickey titled, simply enough, "Branch Rickey". As I say in the post cited below, it should be read "if for no other reason, the book is worth reading just to appreciate the way Jimmy Breslin writes."
Breslin was best known for his stories about New York City and the people who lived there. The column cited in most of the obituaries today, however, is one that I never read, but is somewhat famous, known mainly as "the Gravedigger column". Here it is, and I highly recommend that you read it. From the New York Herald Tribune in November, 1963:
RIP Jimmy Breslin.