Shirley Povich honors Maine as well as the Washington Post where he served for more than 60 years as one of the nation's top sportswriters.
The Bar Harbor native and Morse High graduate, Povich has been the Post's sports editor emeritus and continuing contributor the past few years of semi-retirement after logging 50-plus years full time at the paper he joined fresh out of high school in 1922.
Povich's various awards include: The Grantland Rice Award and the Red Smith Award (these named for Shirley's big-time scribes), induction in the writers division of the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, choice of his account of Don Larsen's perfect 1956 World Series pitching win as Best Sports Story of the Year and induction in the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971.
In 1972, he was twice honored at testimonial dinners. The Post recognized his 50 great years on the sports scene with its first such fete for an employee. And the Maine State Society hailed him five nights later as "A Distinguished Son of Maine."
Povich spent most of his early years in Bar Harbor. It was at nearby Kebo Valley Golf Club that he caddied for summer resident Edward B. McLean, owner of the Washington Post.
That executive was impressed with young Shirley's character and intelligence and when the 17-year-old Morse grad joined his sisters in Washington, DC, the McLean connection right off landed him a job as a cub reporter.
McLean personally arranged four-hour work days so that Shirley could attend and graduate from Georgetown University. At age 21 he was made sports editor.
From that early liftoff, Povich went on to cover just about all the major sports events - including his first big assignment at the second Dempsey-Tunney fight, the long-count affair, in Chicago in 1927; every World Series except for the war years; almost every Kentucky Derby, most British Opens as well as The Masters, Olympics and all of the Super Bowls.
During World War II, he was a War Correspondent with the U.S. Marines in the Pacific area.
His wife is the former Ethel Friedina. They have 3 children, David, Maury, and Lynn.
Maine Sports Hall of Fame
P.O. Box 2
Cumberland, ME 04021
Phone (207) 712-1748
The Maine Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1972 for the purpose of: 1) appointing and bestowing recognition awards and scholarships to outstanding Maine high school scholar-athletes; and, 2) to formally honor and memorialize Maine athletes and sports figures who have brought distinction and honor to the state of Maine.