William F. Fox, Jr. · 1975
One of the nation’s leading sportswriters, William F. Fox Jr. is probably best known for making high school basketball Indiana’s leading sport. Fox began his sportswriting career when, as a news reporter just graduated from Notre Dame, he was transferred from the news to the sports department for the Indianapolis News. It is reported that Fox cried over the transfer, but decided to give sports a try.
Under Fox’s direction, the Indianapolis News became the first Indiana newspaper to carry high school basketball scores. Fox’s many sports columns, like “Shootin’ ‘Em,” “Tearing Firma,” “A Corner in Pigskin,” and “The Yarnin’ Basket” were immensely popular. Fox even used the title “Shootin’ ‘Em” for publicity. He had “There goes Shootin’ ‘Em” written across the spare tire cover on the back of his silver and blue open air Jordan Playboy convertible.
Fox, the man who coined the phrase “Hoosier Hysteria,” began working with the Indianapolis News in October of 1920 and became sports editor for the News in 1939. He was presented the Grantland Rice Memorial Award by the Sportsmanship Brotherhood in New York in 1959, and was voted Newsman of the Year in 1964 by the Indianapolis Press Club. Fox, who also did a daily radio broadcast for WIBC, the “Fox Den,” founded and managed the News Downtown Quarterbacks Club and in 1962 received the Joe Boland Award for “outstanding contributions to the youth of Indiana.” Born August 28, 1895, Fox died on May 14, 1964 at the age of 68.