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Don Hansen's Football Gazette Blog of information, comments, notes, and tidebits on Small College Football. NCAA 1-AA & Mid Major, Division II & Mid Major, Division III, NAIA, and NCCAA

Monday, July 18, 2005


Long-time sports writer and editor’s career spanned more than 70 years

MORRISTOWN, N.J, July 18, 2005 – Jon F. Hanson, chairman of The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF), announced today that Pat Harmon has retired as the NFF Historian.

“Pat has dedicated himself to the reporting, researching and publicizing of sports, in particular football, for more than 70 years,” said Hanson. “We have been privileged to have an individual with his depth of knowledge as a resource for our organization and the entire nation.”

Harmon began his career in 1933 covering events at age 17 for the Freeport
(Ill.) Journal Standard during the Depression era. He would hitchhike to games, sleep on wrestling mats in gyms of teams he covered, and break into the food lines of teams. He later found a home in Cincinnati and served as a sports editor and columnist for the Cincinnati Post for over 34 years, starting in 1951. After retiring in 1986, he started his 20-year tenure as historian of The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame.

“The job of [NFF Historian] has been wonderful. I enjoyed it very much. It’
s the contact with people that I will miss the most,” said Harmon. “Everyday I think about something that I could be doing. But heck, I am almost ninety years old. It’s time to retire.”

Born in 1916, Harmon, the father of 11 children, will turn 89 on September 2. His illustrious career as a sports writer and editor included covering such greats as Vince Lombardi, Pete Rose, Casey Stengel, Arnold Palmer, Eddie Robinson, John Wooden, Bear Bryant, Jack Nicklaus, Woody Hayes, Paul Brown and Joe Louis. Harmon may be best known for inaugurating the selection of the Illinois All-State high school football and basketball teams.

“We will miss Pat. His superb reputation and love of college football has been a great asset to The National Football Foundation,” said NFF President Steven J. Hatchell. “His wealth of knowledge has ensured that we recognized the right people, and we had our facts straight.”

In addition to his stints with Freeport Journal Standard and Cincinnati Post, Harmon wrote for the Champaign (Ill.) News-Gazette in 1934, when he became a student at the University of Illinois. There, he married his wife Anne and built a strong reputation before spending four years at the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette from 1947-51.

He served as the president of the Football Writer’s Association of America
(FWAA) in 1984. Recently, the FWAA honored him in 2004 with their Bert McGrane Award, which they bestow on a member who has performed great service to the organization and the game of college football. The NFF also honored him last year, awarding him its 2004 Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award.

Philip Marwill
Director of Communications
The National Football Foundation &
College Hall of Fame, Inc.
22 Maple Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960-5215
Work: 800-486-1865, ext. 18

With 119 chapters and over 12,000 members nationwide, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, a non-profit educational organization, runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in America’s young people.
NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., Play It Smart, The NFF Center for Youth Development Through Sport at Springfield College (Mass.), the NFL-NFF Coaching Academy, and annual scholarships of nearly $1 million for college and high school scholar-athletes.



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