A lion of St. Louis journalism is gone, and with him goes the roar loved by so many of his fans.
Bryan Burwell, an award-winning sports columnist with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch since 2002, died early Thursday. He was 59. The Post-Dispatch’s website, STLtoday.com, said Burwell was battling cancer at the time.
The St. Louis Pro Chapter of SPJ wishes to convey its deep regret and sadness over Bryan’s passing to his family, friends, and loyal fans.
Bryan, a former chapter member and self-described ink-stained wretch, joined the Post-Dispatch after a long career in newspapers interrupted occasionally by the bright lights of television and the big sounds of radio. Besides writing for the Post-Dispatch, his name had graced the pages of USA Today, The Detroit News, the New York Daily News, and New York Newsday.
In broadcast, Bryan served as a correspondent for HBO Sports, and his face and views appeared often on ESPN and Turner Sports. For a time, Bryan had a talk-radio show on CBS Sports Radio 920. He also inaugurated a video program for the Post-Dispatch called “Upon Further Review.” Bobbleheads and assorted sports trinkets decorated his production studio the Post-Dispatch built for him in its newsroom.
David Sheets, St. Louis Pro Chapter president and a former sports content editor at the Post-Dispatch, helped shepherd Bryan’s columns onto the Sports pages for seven years.
“Sports writing is a serious, difficult business for the men and women who do it daily, but no matter the deadline pressure Bryan was upbeat, kind and considerate,” Sheets said. “Whether he was reporting from the Olympics half a world away, or from a baseball game a few blocks away, Bryan always sounded like and acted like he was in the only spot — the perfect spot — for him to be.
“The sports world will suffer not just because it lost a great writer, but also because it lost a great person, a true fan of sports who loved mingling with other fans of sports.”
Funeral arrangements are pending.