Morris (Mo) Siegel; Veteran Sportswriter Dies at 78 - June 2, 1994

Morris Siegel, 78, a sports writer and columnist for four Washington newspapers whose sense of humor and quick wit also made him a popular speaker and master of ceremonies, died of cancer yesterday at George Washington University Hospital. Most recently a sports columnist for the Washington Times, he also worked at several Washington television and radio stations during a career in the nation's capital dating from 1946. Known as Morrie or Mo, Mr. Siegel was a raconteur who could keep friends and acquaintances entertained long into the night.

Emory Sports Hall of Fame - Class of 1996 inducted posthumously: sportswriter Morris Siegel '37C, a three-time winner of the Washington, D.C., Newspaper Guild's sports writing award.

Attribution: The Washington Post

Reply by Russ White on July 2008 - The Washington Merry-Go-Round lost much of its "oom pa pa" when Mo Siegel passed away in June of 1994.

Everyone in town knew Mo and Mo knew almost everyone, too.

He kept us laughing with his antics on television and at four different newspapers. Mo's favorite paper, he proudly insisted was The Washington Star.

An amusing rascal, Mo carried on almost nightly at Duke Ziebert's Restaurant after testing all his routines first with his sportswriting pals at old Griffith Stadium or RFK.

One of his early pals at the Washington Post was a young fellow named Ben Bradlee, who in his wonderful biography A Good Life told of how Siegel gave him a list of Washington's Top 10 bookies. "Mo," Bradley said, "was great company, funny, disrespectful and warm."

Having worked with Mo for 20 years - first at the Washington Daily News and then the Star, I agree.
I owe Mo and Dick Victory the opportunity they gave me to come to the Star in 1970. They were in charge of a little magazine named Sportsweek. Victory did the editing (best editor I ever knew) and Siegel - well, Mo provided me with encouragment and trust.

Wanting a solid piece or reporting and writing on renegade outfielder Curt Flood, who was recuited by the Washington Senators, Mo dispatched me to St. Petersburg, Fl. to send a couple days with Flood.
"Rent the finest car (Lincoln Continental) you can find," Mo said. "Take Flood to Berns Steakhouse, and anywhere else he wants to go. We'll take care of it."

Mo also nudged me with his constant reminder: "Remember, don't let any g-d facts get in the way of a good story."

I loved being part of Mo's Merry-Go-Round. He put on two powerful Washington Baseball Writer's Dinners, one of which I helped emcee. Mo was the emcee of emcees, of course. A highly-paid guest speaker and he even did a comedy duet with pitcher Denny McLain at Shoreham Hotel's Marquee Lounge.

I was last with Mo in 1993. He was in Florida and working then for the Washington Times. We ate outdoors at St. Petersburg Beach. We had a couple of after-dinner beverages and watched a magnificent sunset. I still recall the orange glow.

That night I confessed to Mo how I had tricked a hotel operator years ago when he had gone to the Star and I was at the News.

We'd both left messages for Bill Veeck late that night. When the operator told me this, I told her to scratch Mr. Siegel's call.

That's how I got a Veeck interview that Mo missed.

"Knew all about that,'' Mo said. "That's why I got you to the Star."

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