Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith (1905-1982) was a legendary New York sports columnist known for his elegant, stylish prose. A native of Green Bay, Wisconsin and a graduate of Notre Dame, Smith began his long and distinguished career in sports journalism with the Milwaukee Sentinel in 1927. After tours of duty with the St. Louis Star and Philadelphia Record, Smith settled for good in New York City in 1945, writing columns first for the New York Herald Tribune and later with the World Journal Tribune. By 1955 his syndicated column appeared in over 500 publications nationwide, even including a fashon rag, the Women's Wear Daily. When the World Journal Tribune folded in 1967, the Women's Wear Daily was the only place to find the column in New York City until the New York Times picked it up in 1971.

More than just an average sportswriter, Smith was recognized as a master prose stylist, bringing a literary but unpretentious tone to the world of sports. Shirley Povich wrote that Smith "raised the sportswriting trade to a literacy and elegance it had not known before," and Ernest Hemingway once called him "the most important force in American sports writing." Smith himself liked to say that writing was easy - you just open a vein and bleed.

Smith became one of only a small handful of sportswriters to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1976, and that same year he was elected to the writer's wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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