Tributes to Henry
R. Luce, who died last Tuesday, February 28, in Phoenix, are being read or
heard everywhere. They justly emphasize his giant stature in the story of
journalism in the 20th century and his impact on public affairs. But here we
would like to keep comment on a more modest plane, and on a more personal
Fond as he was of
golf and bridge, Harry Luce was not particularly addicted to sport or games,
although he did once claim lightheartedly that, "Besides class football—a
very serious proposition—I seriously engaged in the following: cricket, soccer,
lacrosse, tennis, squash, golf, swimming, gymnastics, cross-country, yachting,
croquet, riding, skeet shooting, bird shooting (quail, duck, pheasant, grouse,
woodcock), animal shooting (deer), fishing (trout, bass, deep sea, and also one
was far from casually concerned with the relationship between sport and
journalism, or with the place of sport in society. Of the latter he remarked,
"There would not be tremendous interest and participation if sport did not
correspond to some important elements—something deeply inherent—in the human
spirit." That was one conclusion that led him to start SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
Without Luce, of course, this magazine would never have existed, and without
his continuing attention it would not have succeeded.
Because we are
human, all of us here are first and foremost conscious of personal bereavement.
Even those members of the staff who had little or no opportunity to know Luce
feel the disappearance of an individual whom neither our magazine nor our era
can easily afford to lose.
As for those of
us who worked with him for many years, this is a sad time. It is always hard
when a friend goes. Memories crowd the mind, stabbing and hurting. But those
memories are warm with the knowledge of efforts shared and with gratitude for
an inspiration that never flagge
Andre Leaguerre/Managing Editor