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W.C. Heinz
WC Heinz
W.C. Heinz, co-author of original MASH novel
Personal Information
Birthname: Wilfred Charles Heinz
Gender: Male
Born: (1925-11-11)November 11, 1925
Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, U.S.
Died February 27, 2008(2008-02-27) (aged 93)
Death Location Bennington, VT
Occupation/
Career:
Sportswriter, Author, journalist
Years active: 1937-2008, his death
Series connection
Appeared on/Involved with: M*A*S*H


W. C. Heinz (January 11, 1915 – February 27, 2008), born Wilfred Charles Heinz, was a renowned sportswriter, journalist, and author. He was born and raised in Mount Vernon, New York. He co-authored, with Dr. H. Richard Hornberger under the pseudonym "Richard Hooker," the original M*A*S*H novel M*A*S*H* - A Novel About Three Army Doctors.

Newspaper & magazine careerEdit

Following his graduation from Middlebury College in 1937, Heinz joined the staff of the New York Sun. After serving as one of the newspaper's war correspondents in Europe during the World War II, Heinz returned to the United States and was awarded his own sports column called "The Sport Scene," which primarily covered boxing, baseball, American football and horse racing.[1]

One of his pieces from around this time -- Death of a Racehorse, written July 29, 1949 -- is famous for its brevity (fewer than 1000 words) and its quality, having been compared to the Gettysburg Address[2] and the works of Ernest Hemingway[3]. Written on a manual typewriter as the events unfolded, The story describes Air Lift, a promising two-year-old horse who was racing for the first time, and concludes less than two hours later: Air Lift broke a leg during that first race, and had to be animal euthanasia|euthanized.

Heinz became a freelance writer after the Sun ceased publishing in 1950. He was a regular contributor to magazines such as SPORT magazine, Life, The Saturday Evening Post, Esquire, “True", "Collier's", and Look. The best of his magazine and newspaper pieces are published in his books "American Mirror" and "What A Time It Was: The Best of W.C. Heinz on Sports."

BooksEdit

He published his first book in 1958, a novel called The Professional (novel)|The Professional, the story of a young fighter pursuing the middleweight boxing championship. Ernest Hemingway called the book "the only good novel I've ever read about a fighter, and an excellent novel in its own right." Heinz edited two boxing anthologies, "The Fireside Book of Boxing" and "The Book of Boxing" with Nathan Ward.

Heinz's additional books include Run to Daylight with football coach Vince Lombardi, "The Surgeon", "Emergency," and "Once They Heard the Cheers," in which the author travels the country revisiting sports heroes of his past. In the late sixties Heinz collaborated with Dr. H. Richard Hornberger (who used the pen name Richard Hooker) to write the novel M*A*S*H.[4] The book was the precursor to the film MASH which won the award for the best film of the 1970 Cannes Film Festival and an Academy Award for best screenplay based on another medium in 1971. The book also served as the prototype for the long running, Emmy Award winning television series.

A collection of Heinz's war writings including his dispatches from Europe and some post war articles were republished in his book, "When We Were One: Stories of World War II."

OtherEdit

Heinz was a five-time winner of the E. P. Dutton Award for best magazine story of the year. He won the A. J. Leibling Award for outstanding boxing writing, and his work has been reprinted in more than 60 anthologies and textbooks. He was inducted into the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 2001 and into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2004. In 2008 the Associated Press Sports Editors posthumously awarded him the Red Smith Award for his contributions to sports journalism.

Heinz died in Bennington, Vermont, at age 93.

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Ward, Nathan (August/September 2004). "A Life in the Loser's Dressing Room" American Heritage. Retrieved 7-26-2010.
  2. Heinz: Legendary sportswriter at APSportsEditors.org; by Kevin van Valkenburg; published July 14, 2008; retrieved September 17, 2012
  3. The cult of 'Death of a Racehorse' at ESPN.com, by Gare Joyce; published March 3, 2008; retrieved September 17, 2012
  4. W. C. Heinz, 93, Writing Craftsman, Dies, New York Times (nytimes.com) article, by Richard Goldstein, 2008-02-28.

External linksEdit

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