Bryan Burwell, a longtime sports columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, died early Thursday, December 4 2014 after a battle with cancer. He was 59.
Burwell’s death came so sudden and has greatly impacted the sports world. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Burwell Was 1 of the Nation’s Top Columnists
In 2007, Burwell received the honor of being named one of the 10 best sports columnists in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE). He also received awards from: the Associated Press (AP), United Press International, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Professional Basketball Writers Association and the Professional Football Writers Association.
2. Burwell’s Career in Sports Journalism Spanned Several Decades
Burwell has worked for ESPN, HBO and Turner Sports. He joined the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 2002 after working as a sports correspondent for HBO’s “Inside the NFL.” Burwell also wrote columns for USA Today, The Detroit News, the New York Daily News and New York Newsday.
He also extensively worked in radio and television — he was instrumental in video production during his tenure with the paper — as well as co-hosting an afternoon radio show in St. Louis on CBS Sports Radio 920.
3. Burwell Courageously Lost His Battle With Cancer
According to Burwell’s obituary in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
It was Burwell’s desire to keep his illness private. He had hoped to keep working as long as he could and didn’t want people feeling sorry for him. He fought cancer like he lived life and wrote columns, with vigor, an upbeat attitude, and even a smile on his face.
4. Everybody Had Nothing but Nice Things to Say
Despite his age, Burwell’s attitude to his profession was much more modern. If a collection was put together of things that Burwell’s co-workers, peers and fans have said about him over the years, it would be nothing but nice, sincere things.
In another excerpt from Burwell’s obituary, Post-Dispatch assistant managing editor, Roger Hensley, had this to say about him:
“And even moreso than that, if you ever needed help on anything — from a small feature on a local high school kid to a column on the Rams dome situation — nothing was too big or too small for Bryan. He delivered good stories, human stories, to our readers.
“It sounds corny, but I would describe him as sweet and kind and generous. He was the opposite of the curmudgeonly old journalist. He was a kid, and doing sports journalism was a candy store for him.”
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig came out with this statement:
5. Burwell Was a Fixture in the St. Louis Community
The St. Louis Cardinals tweeted this morning acknowledging Burwell’s passing:
As did the Rams:
Burwell is survived by his wife and daughter, Victoria. He made a great impact on not just St. Louis, but the sports world in general. His loss will be felt, and he will be missed.