MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Legendary Minnesota sports journalist Sid Hartman has died. He was 100 years old.
Hartman’s son, Chad Hartman of WCCO Radio, announced his father’s death Sunday afternoon, saying that his father’s “extraordinary and resilient life has come to a peaceful conclusion surrounded by his family.”
Born in 1920 to immigrant parents, Hartman sold newspapers as a child to help his family make ends meet. Before long, he started writing for the paper, and over the next seven decades his columns became must-reads. His relentless pursuit of scoops both big and small, became the stuff of legend.
When he was 61, he started the Sports Huddle on WCCO Radio with co-host Dave Mona. The weekly sports show became a staple for sports fans and lasted 40 years on air.
Over the decades of reporting, Hartman developed close relationships with sports icons, such as former Vikings coach Bud Grant and “the General” Bobby Knight.
Immediately following the news of his death Sunday, tributes poured in on social media from fellow journalists, professional athletes and other public figures.
Former WCCO sports director Mark Rosen wrote that he was eternally grateful to be one of Hartman’s close friends.
We all knew this day would come, yet it still feels so shocking. The stories will be flowing for years to come. My sympathies Chad and my eternal gratefulness for being one of Sid’s “close personal friends.” https://t.co/ZHYUsrJjqt
— Mark Rosen (@KFANRosen) October 18, 2020
Gov. Tim Walz wrote that Minnesotans of all ages will miss his “down to earth reporting” and influence on Minnesota sports.
Sid was one of a kind. Minnesotans of all ages will miss his down to earth reporting – even through his 100th birthday – and influence on Minnesota sports. Thinking of you and your family, Chad. https://t.co/ykc8vLUdPL
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) October 18, 2020
Not long after the announcement of Hartman’s death, the Vikings lost 40-23 to the Atlanta Falcons. During the post-game press conference, Vikings receiver Adam Thielen began his remarks by giving his condolences to Hartman’s family and called the reporter a “Minnesota legend.”
The Vikings owners, Mark and Zygi Wilf, also released a statement, saying that their hearts were broken by the news of Hartman’s death.
“It’s nearly impossible to put into words what Sid meant to the sports world and to Minnesota,” they wrote. “His doggedness and work ethic were unmatched, but it was Sid’s ability to nurture relationships that truly set him apart.”
According to The Star Tribune, Hartman wrote more than 21,000 bylined stories in his career. His last column appeared in Sunday’s Sports section. It was Hartman’s 119th column of 2020.