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Damon Runyon
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    (October 4, 1880-December 10, 1946)
    Born in Manhattan, Kansas
    Birth name was Alfred Damon Runyan
    Grew up in Denver
    Newspaper columnist, sports reporter, poet, short story author, essayist and journalist
    Stories that were made into movies include Shirley Temple's 'Little Miss Marker (1934),' 'Lucille Ball's 'The Big Street (1942)' and Marlon Brando's 'Guys and Dolls (1955)'
    Died of throat cancer in Manhattan at age 66
    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame under the J. G. Taylor Spink Award for writers (1968)
    Inducted as part of the Observers category into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (2002)
    One block of West 45th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues) in Manhattan is known as Runyon's Way
    House in Kansas where he was born listed on the National Register of Historic Places
    Denver Press Club annually hands out the Damon Runyon Award to a notable journalist
    Damon Runyon Stakes thoroughbred horse race run every December at Aqueduct Race Track
    His last name was changed from 'Runyan' to 'Runyon' by a newspaper editor as a typo and he just let it stick.
    He tried to organize a Colorado minor baseball league, but it was a failed venture.
    He was a heavy drinker until he moved to New York City in 1910, and quit just to appease the woman he was courting (and eventually married).
    In 1916, he met a young Mexican girl while covering the Pancho Villa raids and left his wife in 1928 to be with her (without benefit of divorce).
    After his wife died, he married the Mexican girl, but shortly afterward, she left him for a younger man.
    He was friends with one of Dutch Schultz's cronies and defended him after he was killed during the 1935 hit on Schultz.
    He was a heavy smoker and developed throat cancer that killed him.
    Although the family had a plot at the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, he chose to be cremated.
    He was born in Manhattan, Kansas and died in Manhattan, New York.
    He enlisted in the U.S. Armyto fight in the Spanish-American War and was drafted to serve in World War I.
    He was friends with lawman turned New York sports writer Bat Masterson.
    He reported on the New York Giants for the New York American newspaper (1911-20).
    Men who worked as his assistants before finding their own fame were Walter Winchell and Ed Sullivan.
    His colorful stories about actors, gangsters, gamblers and 'dolls' used a variety of slang terms, some of which he originated.
    All but one of his short stories avoid the use of past tense, which is affectionately called Runyonesque.
    He coined the phrase 'The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong -- but that's the way to bet.'
    In the mid-1930s he convinced a promoter of Roller Derby to change the event from a marathon skate to a full-contact sport.
    Throat cancer rendered him speechless the last year of his life and he died penniless.
    After he was cremated, his friend Eddie Rickenbacker flew over Broadway to scatter his ashes (per his request).
    Winchell established the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation and history's first telethon (hosted by Milton Berle) in 1949 raised funds for its cause.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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