Born Wilfred Charles Heinz in Mount Vernon, NY on January 11, 1915. One of the great American sportswriters, Heinz began his career in journalism as sports editor for the Middlebury College (Vermont) school paper.
Upon graduating with a B.A. in political science on 1937, he worked as a messenger, and later, copyboy for the New York Sun. In the fall of 1943 he was the paper's war correspondent covering Allied movements in Europe.
Upon returning home he was named sports editor and soon had his own column, "The Sport Scene" where he continually wrote about boxing. When the Sun ceased publication in 1950, Heinz became a freelance writer and contributed pieces to LIFE, The Saturday Evening Post, Sport, Esquire and Look among other publications.
In 1958 he published his first novel, The Professional. The classic novel reaped the praise of fellow writers like Ernest Hemingway who said, "The Professional is the only good novel I've ever read about a fighter and an excellent novel in its own right."
He edited The Fireside Book of Boxing and co-edited The Book of Boxing for Sports Illustrated in 1999. Heinz has won the E.P. Dutton Award for best sports magazine story of the year five times, with four of them for boxing stories
Born: Jan. 11, 1915
Died: Feb. 28, 2008