We were saddened to hear the news of Ron Fimrite’s passing last Friday at age 79. Fimrite ’52 was a long-time writer for Sports Illustrated who had recently seen his final work through to publication. Entitled Golden Bears, the book is a comprehensive history of Cal football — the triumphs, the heartbreaks, the last-second miracles, … all of it.
Fimrite got his start at the Daily Cal, where he was named the publication’s Alumnus of the Year in 2008. On the occasion, he told a reporter from his old paper that he most enjoyed telling the stories of forgotten athletes. “I like writers who can recover the past and make it live in the present,” he said.
Writing in the Chronicle, where Fimrite’s was a popular byline for many years, Bruce Jenkins remembered his friend’s good-natured humor and talent as a raconteur. “When it came to a good story,” Jenkins wrote, “Ron’s version was always the best.”
The Bears are lucky he chose to tell their tale.