Sunday, February 17, 2008

RIP Chuck Heaton

By Rick Morris

I grew up in Cleveland at the tail end of the run of one of America's greatest sportswriters, Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter/columnist and NFL Hall of Famer Chuck Heaton. He had a long and distinguished career, but more important, he clearly was a great man who cared very much about others -- as this account of his life from his longtime colleague, another great PD reporter from the glory days, Bob Dolgan eloquently expresses.

Other tributes in the Plain Dealer have been printed in recent days, as the present generation of sportswriters pays tribute to a giant of the game and, more important to them, someone who was a great example of how to extend yourself to other people. Terry Pluto, Tony Grossi and Mary Kay Cabot all painted their own pictures of the man, but in each you could see the same familiar outline: somebody who never succumbed to the human temptation to be warped by their own fame and acclaim.

Truly, Chuck Heaton set an excellent example of how to be a universally-respected professional success but also a more valuable example of how to be a man. RIP Chuck Heaton.

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