BERT SUGAR, AN iconic boxing writer and sports historian who was known for his trademark fedora and ever-present cigar, died Sunday of cardiac arrest. He was 75.
Jennifer Frawley, Sugar’s daughter, said his wife, Suzanne, was by his side when he died at Northern Westchester Hospital. Sugar also had been battling lung cancer.
“Just his intelligence and his wit and his sense of humor,” Frawley said when asked what she will remember about her father. “He was always worried about people. He was always helping people.”
Sugar was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005. According to the hall’s website, Sugar wrote more than 80 books, including “The 100 Greatest Boxers Of All Time.” He also appeared in a handful of films, including “The Great White Hype” starring Samuel Jackson.
“Around ringside, it’s not going to be the same with Bert not there,” said Jack Hirsch, the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Sugar was born in Washington, D.C., in 1936. He graduated from Maryland and went to law school at Michigan. He passed the bar in his hometown and worked in advertising in New York City before he got into writing in the 1970s.
“Bert was obviously a showman in the way he did things outwardly, very flamboyant, but in quiet moments I found him to be an extremely modest individual,” Hirsch said.
Frawley said arrangements for a memorial service are still pending and anyone wishing to honor Sugar should make a donation to the boxing hall.