An identification card was not necessary to recognize Dick Beddoes…..a hat would suffice.
Dick, a flamboyant journalist and television performer, who always wore a hat, passed away August 24, 1991 at Toronto General Hospital of liver cancer. He was 66.
A native of Sheep Tracks, Alberta, Dick attended the University of Alberta before he started his journalistic career with the Edmonton Bulletin. When the paper folded, Dick moved to the Vancouver Sun as a sports columnist in 1954 and stayed with the Sun for nine years.
His reputation as a top-notch columnist spread across the country and the Toronto Globe & Mail made a pitch for him that year. Dick accepted the challenge and signed up with the Globe in 1963. Looking always for greener pastures, Dick wound up as sports director of Hamilton’s CHCH-TV in 1980, a position he held until 1986. Finally he joined CFRB Toronto that year where he hosted a Sunday evening sports talk show.
In addition to his years as a columnist, television and radio commentator, Dick wrote several sports books, including Greatest Sports Stories and Hal, an in-depth story about Maple Leaf Gardens president, Harold Ballard.
His public image was one of brash sports journalist. But those who got to know him, were aware that the man loved bird watching, children, Gordon Lightfoot and Ernest Hemingway.
His daughter, Vanessa Fagan, who was at her father’s bedside when he died, said: “He was generous and gentle. He was a wonderful father.”
He was all that — and a one-of-a-kind star of Canadian sports journalism.