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Joe Palmer

Joe Palmer

2017

Racing editor of the New York Herald Tribune from 1946 until his death in 1952, renowned colleagues hailed him as the best turf writer in newspapers. Born in Lexington, he earned degrees and taught English at the University of Kentucky, and nearly completed a doctorate at the University of Michigan. After summer work at The Blood-Horse in 1934, he was named associate editor and then business manager; he was executive secretary of the American Trainers Association in 1944-46. At the Herald Tribune, his style attracted readers beyond racing fans and was syndicated. He also worked for CBS, wrote for magazines and authored three racing books. An anthology of his work, This Was Racing, was compiled after his death by colleague Red Smith, who said that among racing writers, “There was never another in his time or before to compare with him.” The National Turf Writers and Broadcasters’ annual award for service to racing is named for him.