If you are reading this blog and are not from the NY metro area you may not know the name Bill Gallo. He was the iconic sports cartoonist from the NY Daily News for over 50 years, he passed away on 5/10/11. Outside of an interruption in his newspaper career called WWII when he was a Marine who saw combat action in some of the bloodiest battles of WWII including Iwo Jima, his career spanned 70 years.
My love affair with Bill Gallo began more than 50 years ago when I was twelve. I got a job at a ‘candy store’ in Hempstead, NY, my job was to insert all the sections of the Sunday papers to make the final package. Some sections arrived on Thursday, others on Saturday and the main and sports sections on Sunday morning….early Sunday morning. In those days Hempstead was the primary shopping center for a large portion of Nassau Cnty. And there were only two stores that carried the papers. What that meant was a lot of newspapers to insert, and a lot of choices The New York Times, the NY Daily News, The World-Telegraph & Sun, The NY Post, NY Mirror, the Herald Tribune, and The Journal American. When my week was finished, a cumulative 10-12 hrs, I was paid my 5 dollars (minus 15 cents SS) picked up the Journal American for my father and a Daily News for myself and walked back home.
Bill Gallo’s cartoons always brought a smile to my face and they weren’t just baseball, he drew it all, Muhammad Ali, Joe Namath, Arnold Palmer, if they did on a field, in an arena, or on the court Gallo captured them. Bill Gallo poked fun at George Steinbrenner with his Prussian General Von Steingrabber. George loved him for it. He created Yuchie, the eternal boy in all of us that was always carrying his glove. 28 of his illustrations hang inCooperstown.
I still read the NY Daily News every morning, and I have found it in Denver, San Antonio, the Great LakesTraining Center, Virgina, the Poconos, Boston and our Naval Base in Cuba‘Gitmo’. If you don’t know his work, Google Bill Gallo, a small representation of his 15,000 illustrations are shown.
RIP Mr. Gallo