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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Melvin Durslag, longtime L.A. Herald Examiner and L.A. Times sports columnist dies

Melvin Durslag, longtime Los Angeles sportswriter and columnist, dies at 95.

The Herald Examiner, rival to the Los Angeles times, with those sports betting lines, had a loyal following. 

Durslag, a  sports columnist who began covering Los Angeles in 1939, died on July 17, 2016 at a convalescent home in Santa Monica.

Durslag was born in Chicago on April 29, 1921. His father was a clothing salesman and his mother worked in a sandwich shop. 

He attended Los Angeles High School and joined the Los Angeles Examiner’s staff while still a freshman at USC.

He served in the Air Force during World War II and began writing sports columns for Hearst papers in the 1950s, penning seven columns a week for national syndication, according to Doug Krikorian, a former colleague. 

(photo credit: FreeRepublic)

In 1960, Otis Chandler took over as publisher of the Los Angeles Times and according to former sports editor Bill Dwyre, was told to hire a great sports columnist and it came down to Jim Murray and Durslag. The Times selected Murray in 1961 and the two spent years facing off and telling stories for rival newspapers.

Durslag wrote in support of the referendum making it possible to build Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine, and of the move to relocate the Raiders to L.A.

After the Herald Examiner closed, Durslag joined the L.A. Times in 1989 and wrote his last column for this paper in May 1991 after 51 years on the job.

Contributed by Michel (Michael) Stevens.

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