Bill Gildea (R) and one of his prominent books, "The Longest Fight."

2020 has seen a lot of notable sportswriters pass away, and the latest is Bill Gildea. Gildea was a long-time sportswriter for The Washington Post, particularly known for his work on boxing (which saw him write books like 2012’s The Longest Fight: In the Ring with Joe Gans, Boxing’s First African American Champion (seen at left above) and also pen notable pieces on everyone from Muhammad Ali to Simon Brown), but also involved in coverage of baseball, the World Cup, the Olympics, and many other sports. Gildea’s Post colleague Gene Wang shared that news Sunday:

Gildea wrote a lot of interesting things for the Post over the years, including a piece on when basketball star Manute Bol killed a lion:

Bol can be as hard to find as he was the time he killed a lion. First of all, the lion was asleep. “Otherwise,” Bol said, “I would be killed.”

He went on: “A lion killed one of the cows. Then I saw this lion — I don’t know if it was the same lion who killed the cow, but he was under a tree. I threw this spear — we carry about 10 of them. I wasn’t close to the lion, but I hit him. He jumped up and hit the limbs of the tree and he looked all around like he was looking for whoever shot him. Then he fell down and died. I was behind a tree.”

But his legacy goes well beyond any individual piece. NBC Sports Washington’s Brian McNally added some thoughts on what he meant to the paper:

And Lansing Lugnuts broadcaster Jesse Goldberg-Straussler had a great story on his time in a Orioles’ press box with Gildea:

Gildea will surely be missed by many. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.

[Photos via Macmillan]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.