Art Daley, Packers beat reporter from another era, dies at 94

Art Daley, a Packers beat reporter who started covering the team when Curly Lambeau was its coach and Don Hutson was its star, died February 19th 2011. He was 94.  The Green Bay Press-Gazette, where Daley started covering the Packers in 1941, recounted how different that era was for journalists: Daley was specifically instructed by the newspaper’s business manager not to write anything negative about the Packers, lest they leave Green Bay.

Mr. Turnbull told me, he said, ‘Just remember. Don’t say anything real bad about our team because if we lose ‘em, we’ll never get ‘em back.’” Daley said in a 2009 interview.

Another example of how different newspapermen were back then: Daley acknowledged that he cried when the Packers lost.  “I know that I got a reputation for crying in those bad years we had,” Daley said. “I can laugh now, but I used to hear that the paper boys used to tell their customers on Monday, ‘Here’s Art Daley’s tears.'”

Daley retired from the Press-Gazette in 1979 but kept working as a columnist for Packer Report magazine through the 2010 season, when he still watched most of the home games in the Lambeau Field press box.

This was another stark reminder that the heroes I met in Green Bay were indeed fallible and I was going to have to get used to seeing headlines like this.  I always remember Art saying to me, “McNally would have loved talking to you Terry” when I told him how much I admired the way Johnny Blood, “The Vagabond Halfback”, played the game.  His letters to me were absolutely marvellous, always typed out on the old fashioned typewriter, never printed from a computer, with words crossed out and alterations made, written from the heart.

Here is an example with Art writing to me following the death of Ray Nitschke who was President of the Packer Hall of Fame in England.  Art also talked about Cecil Isbell and Arnie Herber and how different the fortunes of the Packers could have been if Isbell hadn’t retired so early and returned to Purdue.

Art began his journalism career at The Fond du Lac Commonwealth Reporter as a “newsboy” and later as sports editor.  He moved to Green Bay and joined the Press-Gazette in 1941, working under Ray Pagel in the Sports Department.  During WWII, Art served with the Army’s 42nd Infantry Division.  He was Sports Editor of The Green Bay Press-Gazette from 1946 to 1968, and then worked as a wire editor until his retirement in 1979.  Art was co-founder of the Green Bay Packer Yearbook. In 1993, he was inducted as a contributor into the Packer Hall of Fame. He was a charter member of the NFL Hall of Fame Selection Committee. Art was the 1976 recipient of the Dick McCann Memorial Award presented by the Professional Football Writers of America. From 1978 until his death, he was a regular contributor to The Packer Report. Mr. Daley was a charter member of St. Agnes Parish, a member of The Oneida Golf and Country Club, the Optimists and the U.S. Army 42nd Division reunion group. He enjoyed playing golf, traveling to Florida, attending Super Bowl games and visiting with family and friends. He truly relished the Packer victory in Super Bowl XLV.

On June 7, 1941, he married Lorayne Mongan at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Oshkosh. They had 69 wonderful years together.

Art was a true Packer great, a warm smile and a lifetime of memories that he loved to tell me about.  He always loved my green blazer and gold shirt.

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A happy scene at the Oneida Golf & Country Club
with Art, back left, behind Lorayne and son Mike, far right behind his wife with my wife Margaret sat centre

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