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April 09, 2015

Legendary Daily News columnist Stan Hochman passes away at 86

The longtime fixture in Philadelphia sports media joined the Daily News on June 9th, 1959

Terrible news from the Philadelphia Daily News came late this afternoon, as longtime and legendary sports columnist Stan Hochman has sadly passed away at the age of 86. Tom Mahon wrote a great obit for The People Paper that is definitely worth a read and only the first of what should be a countless number of tributes. Here is my favorite quote from Mahon's piece, which came from Hochman's wife of 55 years, Gloria:

"The last words Stan said to me were, 'Don't be sad. We've had a wonderful life,' " Gloria said. "He told me to tell Anndee how much he loved her and how proud he was of her; to tell Elissa what a special daughter-in-law she is; and to tell Sasha to choose her friends wisely."

I didn't know Stan Hochman personally, but I did have the good fortune to grow up in a family that had major ties to the sports department at the Daily News. Everyone knows how prolific Hochman was with a typewriter (and eventually, computer), but over the next few days we'll all have the opportunity to read about his great character, something I have known about secondhand for my entire life. Very few that worked in Philadelphia sports media had such a high approval rating from both their colleagues and readers.

And man, what a legend. He covered the Phillies' epic collapse in 1964! He also chronicled the Broad Street Bullies, Buddy Ryan's Eagles, the "Fo, fo, fo" Sixers, and anything else of note that has happened in Philadelphia sports for the past half-century. His boxing writing was particularly noteworthy, and he even parlayed it into a cameo in "Rocky V."

Hochman kept writing up until a couple of months ago, and he kept writing well. Here's an archive of his most recent columns. The work Hochman did on Dick Allen and the Hall of Fame still resonated 56 years after he started at the Daily News. The tributes on Twitter are already flowing in, as they should. "Philly Sports Talk" just ran a great retrospective for a guy who was a regular panelist on "Daily News Live" for so many years, as well.

Rest in peace, Stan.