Broun, Morgan, & Runyon Selected to Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor


Heywood Hale Broun, Bernard Stanley “Bert” Morgan, and Damon Runyon have been selected to the National Museum of Racing's Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor.

A New York City native, Broun was a prolific broadcaster and journalist who also spent time as an actor, producer of jazz records, and author of three books. He joined the staff of the New York tabloid PM as a sportswriter in 1940. His journalism career was put on pause by World War II, during which time he served in the Army. Following his service, Broun returned to PM and also wrote for its successor, the New York Star, covering a variety of sports, including horse racing.

In 1966, Broun was hired by CBS and began providing color commentary for the Triple Crown series alongside Jack Whitaker. He also became a fixture on the CBS Evening News and later worked for ABC. Broun was a fixture in racing both in print and television.

Morgan), a native of England who arrived in the United States with his parents at the age of seven, was one of the most prominent and respected photographers of Thoroughbred racing and American society in the 20th century. He photographed his first horse race–the famous 1923 international match race between Zev and Papyrus at Belmont Park–while still a teenager. In the 1930s, he began photographing the racing action and social scene at Hialeah Park in Florida. In 1940, Morgan was hired as the official photographer for the tracks in New York, a position he held until 1961, when he left NYRA to make Florida his year-round home.

Morgan's work appeared in national publications such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Town and Country in addition to numerous newspapers and wire services. Morgan's son, Richard, joined him in 1956 and formed Bert and Richard Morgan Studio.

The Keeneland Library acquired more than 300,000 of his negatives in the 1960s and the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame also owns numerous Morgan negatives and prints. In addition, more than 800,000 of Morgan's society photographs are now licensed by Getty Images and the New York Historical Society owns a collection of his images.

Runyon, a Kansas native, enlisted in the Army at the age of 18, participating in the Spanish-American War. Following the war, he began working for newspapers in Colorado, specializing in sports coverage. Runyon moved on to New York City in 1910, and for the next decade covered professional baseball and boxing for the New York American. Looking for a change of pace from the baseball beat, Runyon traveled to Saratoga Race Course in 1922 and quickly became one of Thoroughbred racing's most impactful writers. The characters of horse racing inspired characters in his fiction books, many of which became films like “Guys and Dolls.”

The National Museum of Racing's Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor was established in 2010 to recognize individuals whose careers have been dedicated to, or substantially involved in, writing about Thoroughbred racing (non-fiction), and who distinguished themselves as journalists. The criteria has since been expanded to allow the consideration of other forms of media.

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