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Veteran Sports Columnist ‘Mo’ Siegel Dies

June 2, 1994

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Morris ″Mo″ Siegel, a roguish, gravelly voiced sports reporter and columnist who campaigned hard to bring major league baseball back to the nation’s capital, died Thursday. He was 78.

Siegel died after a long fight with cancer.

Known for his colorful, Damon Runyon-like story-telling ability and acerbic wit, Siegel was one of only two journalists inducted into the Robert F. Kennedy stadium Hall of Stars.

In 1991, his name joined that of longtime Washington Post columnist and friend Shirley Povich on the display on the stadium mezzanine.

Siegel called that honor ″the biggest by far″ of his career.

″He had a great following, great wit, and was a man-about-town, toastmaster, speaker, a fine storyteller on his feet as well as on the typewriter,″ said Povich, who hired Siegel in 1946 at The Washington Post.

Siegel went on to cover ″every important sports event for the next 40 years,″ Povich added.

Siegel was a three-time winner of the Washington Newspaper Guild’s sports writing award and the 1991 recipient of the Vincent Lombardi ″Symbol of Courage″ award after an earlier bout with cancer.

He began his career at The Atlanta Constitution and worked over the years for The Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Washington Post, The Washington Daily News, the Washington Star and The Washington Times.

Siegel also worked at various times for three local television stations as sports anchor and in radio. He did color broadcasting for the Washington Redskins in the 1950s and 1960s.

A Runyonesque character, Siegel said in the current Regardie’s magazine, ″I’ve been fooling around with bookmakers and gamblers ever since I got two quarters to rub together. Las Vegas is my idea of Mecca, but in a pinch I’ll do business with the local bookmakers just to keep my hand in.″

Siegel was born in Atlanta and attended Emory University.

Survivors include a son, Michael, of Washington, and a daughter, Leah, of Atlanta.

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