Born: September 15, 1923,
in Moscow, Russia
Died: June 22, 2003
Leonard Koppett is the only sports journalist elected to both the baseball
and basketball halls of fame. Moscow-born and New York bred, "Koppy"
launched his newspaper career in 1944. Following college, he became a
reporter and columnist for the New York Herald Tribune, later moving
to NY Post. In 1963 he began the first of 16 years with the New York
In addition to his Times assignments, Koppett authored sixteen books on sports,
including: The Thinking Fan's Guide to Baseball (1967/1991), The
Essence of the Game is Deception: Thinking About Basketball (1973), Concise
History of Major League Baseball (1998/2004), 24 Seconds to Shoot: The
Birth and Improbable Rise of the NBA (2003), and The Rise and Fall of
the Press Box (2003), described
as part autobiography and part memoir about changes in sports media coverage.
Koppett received the J.G. Taylor Spink Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992, and the Curt Gowdy Media Award by the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994.