Roundup: Remembering His Ownself

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Doug Ferguson’s AP obituary of Dan Jenkins opens this way:

Dan Jenkins, the sports writing great and best-selling author whose career covered Ben Hogan to Tiger Woods, began with Western Union and ended with Twitter, has died.

Bruce Weber packs a lot into the lede of the New York Times obit:

Dan Jenkins, a sportswriter whose rollicking irreverence enlivened Sports Illustrated’s pages for nearly 25 years and animated several novels, including “Semi-Tough,” a sendup of the steroidal appetites, attitudes and hype in pro football that became a classic of sports lit, died on Thursday in Fort Worth.

Sally Jenkins remembered her dad for the Washington Post, where Matt Shudel wrote the paper’s obituary of Dan.

Funny as in the way my dad could turn even a reading of the morning paper into a comedy. Like the time he shook out the New York Times and said of Margaret Thatcher, “The only time she cries is when she tries to pull a comb through her hair.”

Tom Callahan of Golf Digest leads with Dan’s early inspirations in the lede department.

An aunt named Inez owned a drugstore, a repository of dreams. Luxuriating in the store’s delicious aromas, Dan set up camp at the out-of-town newspapers stack. For a while, his favorite lead was by Damon Runyon from an account of Chicago mobster Al Capone’s tax-evasion trial: “Al Capone was quietly dressed when he arrived at the courthouse this morning except for a hat of pearly white, emblematic, no doubt, of purity.”’s Michael Bamberger shares his memories of Jenkins.

He took newspaper austerity and went to town with it. If he read Hemingway, I don’t know, but there’s some kind of link there, except that Jenkins was funny.

I sent him a manuscript and followed with a call in 1986, looking for a blurb for a book I had written, about a brief stint caddying on Tour. It’s impossible that he read it — why would he? I described it to him. With barely a pause he said, “Here, for a change, is an Ivy Leaguer carrying the bags of other people.”

Bryan Curtis filed the definitive Jenkins profile several years ago for Grantland and it holds up well.

He also filed this new tribute for

Dan was like a sportswriter who walks out of a movie from the 1940s, slaps a couple of big bills on the bar, and tells the bartender, “Don’t neglect me.” I’m not vamping here. That was his actual line.

Even by the standards of ’60s Sports Illustrated writers, Dan was a big drinker. But he worked when he drank. When one of his pals impressed him with a good line, Dan would sneak to the bathroom and write it down. Those lines wound up in his copy. He called them “overheards.” It was the original quote-tweeting, minus the quote.

Esquire’s Charles Pierce offered this salute, including this closing line:

The lights are dim at Goat Hills this weekend. Thanks for everything, hoss. As someone once mused, nobody ever said it wasn't going to be semi-tough.

G.C. Digital rounds up the social media tributes to Jenkins.

Golf Channel’s Morning Drive coverage, including a video obituary:

Jack Nicklaus’ tribute:

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So sorry to hear the news that golf lost a great friend in Dan Jenkins. Like most great friends—those who know just how to make you smile, laugh and entertain you—Dan was able to do that through his writing. Dan was one of the all-time great writers—not only golf and sports, but as a novelist. Dan did some wonderful books and several became unforgettable movies. Dan’s terrific humor was his trademark. Most often, he made you laugh, even when he wasn’t trying. As Barbara said today, Dan always asked questions with a glint in his eye. You knew he was asking you something, but you were not quite sure exactly what or why he was asking. One thing you always knew is that Dan could be trusted. He never sacrificed accuracy for a good laugh. They say comedy is all about timing. Well, Dan Jenkins’ humor was timeless. On a day when Barbara and I are deeply saddened by the news of his passing, we were reminded of a Dan quote: "The message on my tombstone will be, ‘I knew this would happen.’ ” Nope, Dan could not leave a room without leaving you with a smile—even when he wasn’t trying. Barbara and I send our love, prayers and heartfelt thoughts to Dan’s wife June, daughter Sally, and sons Danny and Marty. 🙏😢 (Photos are from the 2016 Distinguished Sportsman Award, which took place at Colonial Country Club’s Legends Dinner three years ago this week. Photos courtesy of Colonial CC & Geno Loro Jr. @geno_photo)

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