ELECTED MEMBERS
   
Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted
WILLY MEISL

Field: Media
Inducted: 1986
Country: Germany/Great Britain
Born: December 26,1895 in Vienna, Austria
Died: June 12, 1968

 

Willy Meisl was Germany’s leading sportswriter during the 1920s through mid-1930s.

From 1924 through 1933, Meisl was editor of Berlin’s Vossische Zeitung, Germany’s leading newspaper. He was also editor of the influential book Sport am Scheidewege, which featured articles by Bertold Brecht, Egon Erwin Kisch and Arnold Bronnen, three of Germany’s most prominent intellectuals.

After the April, 1933 Nazi “Machtergreifung”, Meisl authored an extensive Vossische Zeitung article about Germany’s top Jewish sportsmen that, in the context of the times, was a daring piece of journalism. Nonetheless, the publisher of the “VZ”stood between journalistic license and infuriated “new order” German authorities. But this protection lasted less than a year, and by January 1934, Meisl was forced to emigrate to England.

In 1936, Meisl joined the staff of World Journalist, the official publication of the British Olympic Committee. He entered the British Army in 1940, through 1943, and served at the British Foreign Office 1943-1946.

Following World War II, Meisl was the London sports correspondent for Sweden’s leading dailies, Dagens Nyheter (morning) and Exporessen (evening), as well newspapers in Switzerland, Germany and England.

Meisl was a primary contributor to the German books Olympia 1928 and Olympia 1932. He authored the books: Der Schwimmsport (w/P. Winter) in 1925, Boxen 1925, Der Fussballsport 1925, Der Sport am Scheideweg 1928, Fussball, der Welsport 1930, and ABC des Fussballspiels. His 1955 book, Soccer Revolution, discussed modern soccer systems, and he co-authored a booklet, Sonderabdruck aus dem Sammelwerk, Juden im Deutschen Kulturbereich, published just before his death in 1968.

Meisl received his doctorate of laws degree in Vienna in 1922. As a student, he ranked among Austria’s top all-around athletes. In the years “around World War I”, he was goalkeeper for the Wiener amateur soccer team and toured Sweden with his club. In 1920, Meisl was goalkeeper for the Austrian national soccer team. He coached the Hammarby IF soccer team in Stockholm a year later. He was also a member of the Austrian national water polo team, and a champion swimmer, boxer and tennis player.

In 1954, British weekly World Sports accorded Meisl the title: “World’s No. 1 Soccer Critic”.

Following a long illness, Meisl died of cancer in 1968.

 
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