Jamer Earl Breslin, 88
PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING COLUMNIST Jamer Earl “Jimmy” Breslin died from pneumonia Sunday, March 19. He was 88.
According to his wife and a former city councilwoman, Ronnie Eldridge, Breslin passed away at his home in Manhattan after suffering from a number of “problems stemming from pneumonia”. Eldridge said, “It’s the end of an era. He was a force of nature. He was complicated, but he had a great life and a lot of fun.” (“End of an era: Jimmy Breslin, legendary columnist, dies in New York,” usatoday.com)
William Cole, Breslin’s physician told CNN that he passed away at 8 a.m.
Born in Queens on October 17, 1928, Breslin is a funny, cleverly simple and profane columnist. He won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for commentary focusing on a single man, David Camacho, for humanizing the AIDS epidemic, which at that time was generally misconceived. (“Jimmy Breslin, Legendary New York City Newspaper Columnist, Dies at 88”, nytimes.com)
Breslin was best remembered for his article, published in November 1963 for the New York Herald Tribune, on John F. Kennedy’s gravedigger Clifton Pollard. A prolific writer, Breslin authored several books, among which were “Can’t Anybody Here Play this Game?” about the hapless 1962 Mets, and “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight” which also became a major motion picture in 1971 and made Robert de Niro famous. He also worked on several New York daily newspapers including Newsday, the New York Herald Tribune and the New York Post. (“Pulitzer Prize-Winning journalist Jimmy Breslin dies at 88”, nypost.com)
He had medical problems in the 1990s which inspired him to do his memoir “I Want to Thank My Brain for Remembering Me” in 1996.
New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer said on his weekly press conference, “The sidewalks of New York have lost a great one. Long before 9/11 showed America how great the average New Yorkers was, Breslin was doing it every day on the pages of New York’s newspapers.”
Steve Dunleavy, a longtime Post columnist who competed with Breslin for decades called him “the last of the hand-made articles.”
Breslin has been a newspaper columnist for more than 50 years. He also agreed that no one could ever duplicate him and the only quality that kept him writing columns for newspapers was rage. (“Pulitzer Prize-Winning journalist Jimmy Breslin dies at 88”, nypost.com)