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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

JACK SULLIVAN

Inducted in 1983

Member Details

Date of Birth: September 15, 1913
Place of Birth: Toronto, Ontario
Date of Passing: June 11, 1992
Sport: Sport Journalist
Member Category: Builder

Career Highlights

1929-1975

Worked for the Canadian Press

1948-1975

Sports Editor, Canadian Press

1975-1976

Researcher, CBC

Honoured Member JACK SULLIVAN
Inspire

Story

Jack Sullivan was not only an outstanding journalist but a pioneer in the compiling of Canadian sport information. For decades, the Canadian sports media relied on the material amassed by Sullivan throughout his years as a writer for the Canadian Press and as a researcher for the CBC. In 1929, 16-year-old Sullivan approached the Canadian Press about a job. Although he was fresh out of high school and the Depression years were looming, the CP took a chance and hired him on as a messenger, little knowing that he would stick around for the next 45 years. Eight years later, Sullivan joined the editorial staff and, in 1948, he was appointed sports editor, the first person to hold this position. Over the next decades, he covered major sporting events such as the Olympics, the Stanley Cup, the Commonwealth Games, and the Grey Cup, and was also responsible for supervising CP's entire sports department. His columns were informative, accurate, captivating, and well balanced, earning him a dedicated audience and the respect of the athletic world. Even fellow sports writers stood in reverence under the pen of Jack Sullivan, so much so that fellow writer and Hall of Famer Milt Dunnell called him "the newsman's newsman." When Sullivan first started as sports editor, there was little background information available on players, coaches, and sports in general. "Sully," therefore, spent much of his career compiling stories, statistics, and any other historical tidbits he could find on Canadian sport. The results were two books, The Stanley Cup and The Grey Cup Story, as well as a wealth of reliable sporting references and handbooks. In 1975, Sully moved to the CBC, where, as head researcher, he worked to form a solid database of information on Canadian sport. Sullivan's extensive work behind the scenes, both with CP and the CBC, has provided sportswriters and other media personnel with reliable background information, thus improving the depth and accuracy of Canadian sports coverage and helping to preserve Canada's sport heritage.


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