Smith: Biographers trace broadcaster Red Barber to Columbus

From Slim Smith at the Columbus Dispatch on December 21, 2019, with mention of SABR member James Walker:

Red Barber’s story began in Columbus, it’s true.

But the story of Red Barber’s story began in a Chicago thrift shop.

Barber, the radio broadcaster whose descriptions of Brooklyn Dodgers games, including the arrival of Jackie Robinson, during baseball’s golden era made him a national celebrity and a broadcasting icon, was born in Columbus in 1908 and lived here until age 10. Barber began his broadcasting career in 1934 and continued to work in radio until his death in 1992.

But what a pair of retired professors promise to be the first comprehensive biography of the man known by generations of sports fans as “the old red-head,” began in that Chicago thrift shop.

That’s where spouses James Walker and Judith Hiltner stumbled over a book called “Things To Do When You Retire.”

Walker (Mass Communications) and Hiltner (English) had recently retired as professors at Saint Xavier University and were intrigued by the book title.

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Originally published: December 30, 2019. Last Updated: December 30, 2019.