Daniel, Dan

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DANIEL, DAN

DANIEL, DAN (Margowitz ; 1890–1981), U.S. sportswriter, considered the dean of baseball writers in a career that spanned over 60 years. Born in New York City to immigrant parents, Daniel started his career in 1909 at the New York Herald, a year before graduating from the City College of New York. He came from a long line of doctors, and was even enrolled at Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons for a short time, but left to pursue a fulltime career as a sportswriter, when in 1911 he was offered $35 a week to work at the New York Press by sports editor Nat *Fleischer. It was there that Daniel became one of the first journalists to use a typewriter at a New York newspaper office.

When he was refused a byline early in his profession because of his Jewish surname, Daniel changed it to "By Daniel," using it in his long career at the New York World-Telegram and its successor, the World-Telegram and Sun, where he worked until the newspaper folded in 1966. He also wrote a column, "Daniel's Dope," and for 20 years conducted the well-known question and answer column "Ask Daniel" in the paper's sports section.

Daniels was by far America's most prolific baseball writer, best known for his 32 years of writing for the Sporting News, the Bible of baseball publications for the first half of the 20th century. Using the byline "By Dan Daniel" and "By Daniel M. Daniel," he contributed some 5,000 words a week by his estimate to that publication, having "more words published in the Sporting News than any other man," according to the newspaper's publisher.

Daniel was recognized as an authority on the history of the New York Yankees, having covered the club from the pre-Babe Ruth era through the days of Mickey Mantle. He was the first to recognize Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak and was the official scorer for some 21 games during the 56-game hitting streak of Joe DiMaggio in 1941. Though there was criticism about Daniel's questionable role as the scorer in extending DiMaggio's streak in games 30 and 31, Daniel maintained, "There wasn't a hit he wasn't entitled to. I never favored him one iota and made him get his hits as I saw them."

Daniel was chairman of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, a member of baseball's rules committee, and served for many years on the Hall of Fame Committee on Baseball Veterans. In 1972, Daniel was recipient of the Baseball Writers' Association of America's J.G. Taylor Spink Award, the Baseball Hall of Fame's highest honor for sportswriters.

The versatile Daniel also covered football and was chairman of the Football Writers' Association. In addition, he wrote about boxing, serving as chairman of the Boxing Writers' Association, and was co-founder with Fleischer of The Ring magazine. Daniel was the author of Babe Ruth: The Idol of the American Boy (1930) and The Mike Jacobs Story (1950).

[Elli Wohlgelernter (2nd ed.)]