In the late 1960s I was going to school in a Midwest town well known for its college football. Jim Murray wrote a memorable column that characterized that town, not in a paragraph, or a sentence, but in two words, "Klumbus, Ahaya."
He has been my favorite sportswriter ever since. He will be sorely missed.
Who else would ever think of describing former Dolphin running back Larry Csonka as a guy who "has a name that sounds like a watermelon falling off a truck?" Who else but Jim Murray.
DEAN F. ENGERT
Having known Jim Murray way back when he was still on the staff of Time magazine, and having had the good fortune of having clients who became the subject of a Murray column, most who knew the man had his or her most enjoyable Murrayism.
My all-time favorite was Jim's description of the NBA as being "one massive pituitary gland."
Being an avid sports fan, I have read and delighted in Jim's prose, both pointed and poignant, for 40-plus years. I have many of his pieces on file.
Being a Trojan, one of my favorite lines was the opening of his report in the '50s on a USC upset of Notre Dame: "The crowd at the Coliseum could not have been more surprised if the Christians had begun eating the lions!"
Having grown up in L.A., I say there are only a handful of true SoCal icons: Vin Scully, John Wooden, Jim Murray at the top of the list. As a Trojan, I salute Murray for immortalizing USC football. With all due respect to Grantland Rice, Murray's description of the 1974 USC-Notre Dame game may be the greatest sportswriting of all time. I particularly loved Murray's hyperbole, such as when he would write something like: "The Thundering Herd wasn't a football team, they were the Wehrmacht rolling through the Low Countries."
When my friend Brad Cole moved to Paris in the 1980s, I sent him Murray's column every day for a year, and to this day Brad tells me nothing could have made him feel more at home.
STEVEN R. TRAVERS
In Jim Murray, we've lost more than a sportswriter. We've lost a poet laureate.
With brilliant figures of speech, he praised the heroes. "If Tom Harmon had given the Grim Reaper the straight arm, he could have kept on going."
Of Ali, he wrote: "He choreographed his fights."
Let's think of him as still around, on assignment.
When a person touches those around them in a positive way, that is a life well-lived.
I appreciated the heart Jim Murray displayed through the story of one of my early mentors: As a high school junior, his class project was to interview his hero: Jim Murray. An impromptu phone call from a 17-year-old to Jim Murray became a magical 45-minute chat that influenced this young man's life. Fifteen years later, as my boss relayed this story to me, he still got choked up recalling his special experience.
I have enjoyed three decades of Jim Murray's columns. I have listened to my dad read and appreciate many, many of Jim Murray's columns. We have laughed together at his marvelous wit, and cried together through his columns about losses, especially the loss of his first wife.
I thank you, Jim Murray, for your influence on our father-son relationship. Heaven is lucky to have you.
In 1993, my 13-year-old son Michael came back from shopping at Century City. He was not carrying a compact disc but a book. He had stopped in at a bookstore and had seen Mr. Murray autographing his book. Michael told Mr. Murray that his mother, who only liked baseball, was a great fan of his and read all his columns faithfully. Mr. Murray wrote the following to me:
"To Paulette, thanks for reading! Don't stop. Here's to sunshine and roses and the health to enjoy them."
A friend said today: "The wrong people have weak hearts."
PAULETTE F. KATZ
It says here that Jim Murray is no longer with us. Giddoudahere! Must be a different Murray. Next thing they'll tell me is that God didn't make the little green apples or that Ted Williams bunts for base hits or that Marciano beats you with the jab or that Ripken is a malingerer!
An Irish toast and arrivederci to Jim Murray. The greatest of 'em all!
Say it isn't so, Jim. Tell me this is all some cosmic mistake, some celestial clerk having a bad day at the office. Tell me that I'll pick up the paper Sunday and see your Irish mug staring out at me. You were the best, Jim. You were Dempsey-Firpo, Man O' War coming down the stretch at Churchill Downs, Hogan on the 17th at Riviera. Have a good trip, my friend, and say hello to Red Smith and Granny Rice, Jimmy Cannon and Shirley Povich, and all the other great scribes who have covered their last game. Have one for me, Jim. We'll miss you.
Marina del Rey
All of my heroes are gone: John Wayne, Roy Rogers, John Lennon, my dad, and now Jim Murray.
RANDY R. PARSON
The juxtaposition of the "prince" and the "pauper" stories on the front page of Tuesday's Aug. 18 Times spoke volumes.