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Famed Sportswriter Archives Donated To IWU

Dave Kindred Collection
Illinois Wesleyan University

Hall of Fame sportswriter and McLean County native Dave Kindred is donating a substantial portion of his writing collection to his alma mater, Illinois Wesleyan University.

Kindred, who has spent more than a half-century writing about sports, is donating some 45 boxes of articles, audio recordings, letters, press passes and books to IWU. Much of the content deals with his coverage of the late boxing great Muhammad Ali.

When Ali died last month, Kindred told GLT about the day he was first assigned to the boxing great as a young reporter.

"One of the grown-ups came in one day and said, 'Clay's in town. Go find him.' The newspaper still called him 'Cassius Clay' even though this was two years into his time as Muhammad Ali. The newspaper, in fact, called him 'Cassius Clay' through at least 1971," Kindred said.

Kindred, who wrote for papers in Louisville and Atlanta as well as the Washington Post and The Sporting News, says he realized later in life he was a pack-rat. He says it's basically a whole, broad array of what a journalist does.

Kindred has relocated to McLean County and now lives near Colfax. He continues his sports writing career, contributing to Golf Digest as well as other sports news outlets.

In a release, IWU archivist Meg Miner said the Kindred acquisition is rare in her experience.

"It is remarkable that we have the entirety of his work life to share with others,” she said.

Among the press passes included are passes to major championship sporting events covering several decades. The book donations include copies of Kindred's book, Sound and Fury, about the relationship between Ali and sportscaster Howard Cosell.

Willis is a Bloomington, IL, native. During his senior year at Bloomington High School, he finished third in the "Radio Speaking" division of the state speech contest, the only year he competed.
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