- NAME: Dick Schaap
- OCCUPATION: Television Personality, Journalist
- BIRTH DATE: September 27, 1934
- DEATH DATE: December 21, 2001
- EDUCATION: Cornell University, Columbia University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Brooklyn, New York
- PLACE OF DEATH: New York, New York
- Full Name: Richard Jay Schaap
- AKA: Richard Schaap
- AKA: Dick Schaap
Best Known For
With a career spanning 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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In 1990, Schaap joined the cable sports network ESPN as host of The Sports Reporters, a Sunday morning talk show. He later had an interview show, Schaap One on One, on the network's ESPN Classic channel. Working with his son Jeremy, Schaap had a Saturday morning radio show, The Sporting Life with Dick Schaap, on ESPN Radio.
One of his last projects was also his most personal. His autobiography, Flashing Before My Eyes: 50 Years of Headlines, Deadlines & Punchlines, was published in 2001. Some critics rolled their eyes at the number of times Schaap mentioned the names of other famous people. A reporter from New York Times even counted the instances of namedropping and came up with more than 500 references. While some may have been put off by that, it was a true reflection of the incredible life Schaap led. He met and befriended some of the leading sports figures of his time, including baseball great Hank Aaron, boxer Muhammad Ali, and tennis star Martina Navratilova, as well as people in the arts, such as comedian Billy Crystal and actress/singer Patti LuPone. A popular quotation of Schaap seems to sum up his well-populated life: "Often I am asked what my favorite sport is, and always I say, 'People.' I collect people."
A devoted New Yorker, Schaap had a standing Monday night reservation at Rao's, one of the city's most exclusive restaurants. It is the type of place that only serves its regulars and all of its regulars are VIPs of one sort or another.
In the fall of 2001, Schaap went to Lenox Hill Hospital to have hip replacement surgery. Unfortunately, he experienced complications afterwards and died on December 21. Schaap was survived by his third wife, Trisha, and his six children. The family later sued several of the doctors involved in his surgery and the hospital for his death.
More than one thousand people gathered for a memorial service in New York City in January 2002. Jimmy Breslin and Billy Crystal were among the many that spoke about Schaap at the service. He will be remembered as a talented writer, subtle interviewer, fair reporter and good friend to many.
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