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With a career that spanned five decades, Dick Schaap was one of the most admired journalists of the 20th century, especially in the field of sports.
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After graduating from Cornell University in 1955, Schaap earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. After some time in newspapers, he became a reporter for Newsweek in 1959, providing sports coverage. Five years later, he joined the staff of the New York Herald Tribune as city editor. There Schaap oversaw the work of old friend Jimmy Breslin and Tom Wolfe. Trading the editor job for the position of columnist, he wrote about local and national news for the paper.
Instant Replay: The Green Bay Diary of Jerry Kramer (1968) and I Can't Wait Until Tomorrow... 'Cause I Get Better-Looking Every Day(1969), a biography of football legend Joe Namath. Later works featured collaborations with other sports stars, such as pitcher Tom Seaver, baseball and football hero Bo Jackson, and Olympian Tom Waddell.
In addition to being a successful author, Schaap became a television journalist in the 1970s. At first, he worked for a local NBC station in New York City and then joined NBC News as a correspondent. Schaap may have seemed an unlikely candidate for television with his raspy voice, but he was a natural on camera. Multitalented, Schaap co-wrote a novel with Jimmy Breslin entitled .44, which offered a fictionalized account of the infamous Son of Sam murders, published in 1978.
Schaap's television career really took off when he changed networks in the early 1980s. Serving as a correspondent for the newsmagazine 20/20 and the nightly news program World News Tonight, he demonstrated his excellent skills as an interviewer. Schaap profiled a broad range of personalities and earned three Emmy Awards in the process, most notably for his story on comedian Sid Caesar's battle with substance abuse. While often associated with sports, he was also interested in the arts and filed theater reviews for ABC. It has often been said that Schaap was only person who ever voted for the Heisman Trophy for college football and the Tony Awards.
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