Warren Brown

Warren Brown (sportswriter)

This article is about the American sportswriter. For the politician, please see Warren Brown

Warren Brown (January 3, 1894 - November 20, 1978) was an American sportswriter who spent the major portion of his career in Chicago, Illinois. Brown was born in Somersville, CA a mining town near San Francisco. His father was the local saloon keeper. When the Somersville mines flooded the family moved to San Francisco where Brown was a firsthand witness to the great earthquake of 1906. Brown attended St. Ignatius College (later renamed as The University of San Francisco) for his prep school as well as university years. During his college years Brown played baseball for the Sacramento minor league team in the summers. After getting his undergraduate degree he began his sportswriting career with the San Francisco Bulletin. After serving in Army intelligence stateside during WWI, Brown returned to the Bulletin, but soon moved to William Randolph Hearst's San Francisco Call-Post. Brown was one of the first sportswriters to hail a local boxer named Jack Dempsey. He also doubled as the paper's drama critic, specializing in vaudeville and musical comedy. In the early 1920's Brown was transferred to the Hearst paper in New York for a year. That is where he hired a young sportswriter named Ed Sullivan, who went on to be a society columnist & then a mid-century American icon with his TV variety show. Starting in 1920, Brown saw every World Series for fifty years. Brown's final move was to Chicago to be the sports editor of Hearsts Chicago Herald-Examiner. He was a sports editor, columnist & baseball beat writer (usually at the same time) for several Chicago papers over the next 40 years. In one column describing a University of Illinois running back named Red Grange he coined the phrase "Galloping Ghost" to describe the RB's running style. The nickname stuck. As a beat writer and columnist he was known for his acerbic wit and breezy reporting style. Following the 1945 World Series, he wrote a history of the Chicago Cubs as part of the Putnam series of books that covered all the major league baseball teams. It was sufficiently well-received that The Chicago Cubs is one book in that series that has been periodically re-issued. In 1947 he wrote a memoir of sorts called "Win, Lose or Draw". It was mainly a collection of anecdotes about celebrated figures in sports Brown had crossed paths with in his first 30 years as a sportswriter.

In 1973 Brown was given the J. G. Taylor Spink Award by the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Brown died at age 84 in Forest Park, Illinois.


  • Rockne (Chicago: Reilly & Lake, 1932)
  • The Chicago Cubs (New York: Putnam, 1942)
  • Win, Lose, or Draw (New York: Putnam, 1946)
  • The Chicago White Sox (New York: Putnam, 1952)

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