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David Halberstam killed in crash

NEWS • UPDATED: 7:45 A.M.; 9:10 A.M. TUESDAY

One of the great writers of our time, David Halberstam, was killed today in an automobile accident in Northern California.

I don't know how many of you are aficionados of historical non-fiction, but I am and there wasn't a better author than Halberstam.

Halberstam, 73, covered the Vietnam War for the New York Times, from which grew "The Best and the Brightest," my favorite book on the idiotic decision making that led to that quagmire. I've read "The Powers That Be" and "The Reckoning" more than a few times each, and "The Fifties," "The Children" and "War in a Time of Peace" as well.

But Halberstam was also a sports fan, and his in-depth look at the fall of the Portland Trailblazers ("The Breaks of the Game") was one of the more insightful books on professional sports I've ever read. There were more sports books of course, from baseball ("Summer of 49" and "The Teammates: A Portrait of Friendship") to basketball ("Playing for Keeps" about Michael Jordan) and football ("Bill Belichick: The Education of a Coach").

He will be missed.

• UPDATE NO. 1: The Times' Steve Kelley, mentioned often in "The Breaks of the Game," has a tribute to Halberstam today.

• UPDATE NO. 2: ESPN is re-posting some of Halberstam's columns, including this one from 2001 about the M's and why no one will ever love Barry Bonds.




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