2006 George Johnson

George Johnson

George Johnson began his sportswriting career three decades ago with the Winnipeg Tribune, where the environment of an afternoon paper, before the days of file-at-the-whistle deadlines, allowed for plenty of instruction and development.

George Johnson

George Johnson

He then joined the Winnipeg Sun in its days of infancy, then moved on to Alberta, joining first the Edmonton Sun, then the Calgary Sun, where he spent 15 years as beat writer for the Calgary Flames, and now, since 2000, the Calgary Herald as a sports columnist.

He has written for a number of outside publications, including ESPN Magazine, and guested on radio.

A favorite catty quote by Truman Capote, discussing fellow author Jack Kerouac, sums up a personal philosophy about the job: “That’s not writing, it’s typing.”

The goal has always been the same, whatever the topic, whatever the platform (with, naturally,varying degrees of success): To give anyone willing to venture past the first paragraph the best possible read on that day. To write, not type.

Among his career highlights include covering four Olympic Games, numerous Stanley Cup finals, including three featuring the Calgary Flames, and two soccer World Cups.

Having seen Muhammad Ali regain the world heavyweight title, from Leon Spinks in New Orleans, watched Sinatra perform live at Caesar’s Palace in Vegas and been on hand for Italy’s trumphant World Cup campaign in Germany this summer, whatever happens from here on in is a bonus.

George is married to Rita, also a sportswriter, and they have two daughters, Michela, 15, and Sabrina, 11.