The late Tom McEwen, sports editor of The Tampa Times from 1958-62 before being named sports editor of The Tampa Tribune in 1962, graced the Tribune sports section with his award-winning column, The Morning After, and his Breakfast Bonus notes columns were a signature offering from the 19-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year. McEwen died in June, 2011 at the age of 88. His wife, Linda, occasionally contributes past columns and exerpts to this blog.
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Farewell to Angelo
Posted Feb 7, 2012 by The Tampa Tribune
Updated Feb 7, 2012 at 12:48 AM
By LINDA McEWEN
The world seemed a little sadder today, after one of Tom’s great friends, Angelo Dundee, died. In typical fashion, on looking at Dundee’s great little book of his life, “My View From the Corner,” I saw that he wrote to Tom: “To My Friend,” and to his wife, Helen Dundee, he said, “You are a rare and wonderful woman. Thank you for being everything that a wife and mother should be. You are my last fighter and the greatest fighter I ever had.”
After coming back from Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday party, where he had a wonderful time, Angelo’s health took a turn for the worse and he died at the age of 90.
One of the last times Angelo visited Tom in our home was for a long question and answer session for ESPN, which turned into an animated conversation with the great trainer and the great writer remembering their lives well-spent in sports and of all the great figures they both knew.
Angelo was a sweet man, beloved by his family and his son, Jimmy, who drove him around in his more frail later years. For me, it was a special time being around them with all of their treasured history. Both knew Cassius Clay, nee Muhammad Ali, and one of the world’s greatest boxing heavyweights of all time, Angelo being his trainer.
During those years, we remember the “Rumble in the Jungle” in 1974, high boxing drama in Zaire in darkest Africa. Ferdie Pacheco, Muhammad’s doctor, frequently told the story of that fascinating fight. Then the “Thrilla in Manila,” with Muhammad and Joe Frazier (from my home state of South Carolina), who probably was one of the toughest fighters of them all.
Howard Cosell loved broadcasting and commenting during this era and was the best ever with his captivating voice and personality. At these boxing matches no trainer was more skilled or popular than Angelo Dundee. He was well liked by all who knew him during his long career in the boxing world.
Goobye Angelo. Tom went before you, so now you two can get together again way up there and tell some great stories about Ali, about George Foreman, about Ken Norton and of course, Smokin Joe Frazier, and many others.
We miss you Angelo - and Tom both - now.