Tributes to a coach

January 2, 2007 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: journalism.

Not a football coach, though it is that time of year. A writing coach.

Don Murray, a man whose work and ideas influenced many of us in the business of writing and teaching writing, passed away Dec. 30. Writing gurus Roy Peter Clark and Chip Scanlon at the Poynter Institute have written fitting tributes to the man they knew personally and the one who talked and taught writing for all of his professional life. (There is a lot more about Murray on the Poynter website.)

Murray won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in the 1950s — the youngest ever to do so — but he didn’t let that stop him from a long and prolific career as a magazine journalist, newspaper columnist, fiction writer, and university professor. His idea about the five steps of the writing process have been referenced by JPROF here.

The world could do with a few more like him.

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