He insisted and firmly refused to deviate from the right and the right: Honesty, accuracy, integrity and professionalism at every turn, for eight decades as a major figure in sports in Broome and the surrounding counties.
His was a smooth eloquence, presenting the written word, refreshing his style and work ethic definitely above the rest. When he was present, an event became more important, certainly an increased anticipation of the upcoming printed account – the same for his regularly scheduled columns.
John W. Fox, the master in every way imaginable, performing his craft for the Press & Sun-Bulletin and his predecessors – 44½ full-time, 17½ post-retirement – died on June 2 at home in Port Dickinson. He was 96 years old.
A native of Elikotville, Cataragu County, a proud graduate of the University of Syracuse and a longtime resident of Port Dickinson, Fox settled into working life in Broome County in June 1949.
“My theory was to spend three years in Binghamton, after which I would go to the big city,” he said after retiring from the full-time sports editor / columnist.
Readers were much better at his choice to make this his home, clearly through his latest column, published on June 27, 2010.
In this 1993 post, he was asked how he would like to be remembered as a writer. Fox said:
“I’d like people to say, ‘He really followed the local boys.'” And “So often he was original.” He said things a little differently than all those other people. ”
Really. Different, unique and constantly better is how he said them.
National acclaimed columnist Dave Rossi once wrote:
“A John Fox story never lacked perspective, because man was more than a sports writer, he was a sports historian, and like all good writers, he was a storyteller.” a story like golden threads in an oriental rug that hold it together and give it accents.
“How did John come up with such a mysterious material many times? As I said, he was a researcher. He had another talent that was becoming rarer. He was listening. He encouraged his subjects to speak, and he listened. And he took it all off. “
“It was a return to what was sadly the era of journalism, when the local newspaper tried to cover – or did – cover every sport in high school, every local college and even some small league games,” said Jeff Platsky, a retired businessman. a writer / editor who settled in the Binghamton newsroom in the summer of 1982. “And he took it seriously. There was no local sporting event that he did not participate in. “
Fox’s list of favorite / most memorable events was requested after his retirement. He chose to break them into the top 10 high schools / local colleges and 10 more national or local ones. Highly noted was:
- Elk Lake’s Stevenson’s Bob Stevenson scored 55 points in the 1977 Pennsylvania basketball final in Hershey to finish the season 35-0.
- Semi-middleweight champion Carmen Basillo – whose career began in Binghamton – defeated middleweight champion Sugar Ray Robinson in a 15-round match for the Yankee Stadium title (September 1957).
- Chenango Valley racers Ray Smith and Dave Brinsko swept the US two and a half miles from Cornell in June 1964.
- Richie Carl of Endicott won the 1974 BC Open in the playoffs against Bruce Crampton’s Heavyweight Tour.
- Ithaca defeated Vestal 22-20, behind the unrealistic efforts of Steve Webster in the final night of the 1970 game of the No. 1 and No. 2 U.S. football teams.
- Syracuse ended a 16-game losing streak with Penn State, scoring the first 41 points of a 48-21 victory in 1987.
As for the leading features in his list:
- Profile of former baseball player Pete Gray, who rose to prominence despite losing his right arm as a child. Fox traced the reluctant site in Nanticook, Pennsylvania, for an April 1989 story – especially timely as it coincided with Jim Abbott’s well-described one-handed pitcher’s ascent to the California Angels.
- Also at the end of his career, a retrospective of the 1953 Binghamton Triplets – “When it comes to pure pleasure, it ranks first on my list.”
Fox is a member of the Section 4 Hall of Fame and the Greater Binghamton Sports Hall of Fame.
Referring to Fox’s work ethic, too long working days and work weeks, Platsky said: “I’m sure the family didn’t like it, but for readers, no one serves them better than John Fox and the children in the community he wrote. for.
“And he was a gentleman, always a gentleman.”
John died before his 59-year-old wife, Theresa Terry, Sullivan Fox. He is survived by daughters Elizabeth Nasar (Robert) of Norwich, Barb Fox Carosella (Joseph) of Vestal, Maureen Fox of Quadra Island, British Columbia and Kimberly Fox (Scott Elliott) of Portland, Maine; eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Calls will be made from 1 to 7 p.m. on June 13 at JA McCormack Sons Funeral Home, 141 Main Street, Binghamton. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on June 14 at St. Paul’s Church, 282 Chenango Street in Binghamton. Instead of flowers, donations can be made to the scholarship in his name for Athlete of the Year in high school: GB Sports Hall of Fame / JWFox Scholarship, PO Box 1, Binghamton, NY 13903.
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