‘He was the reason I became a writer’: Long-time sports editor Moss dies

Jack Moss, who worked at the Kalamazoo Gazette for more than 50 years, most of them as its sports editor, has died at the age of 91 after a 20-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.

The name will be unfamiliar to most of you because Jack retired from the Gazette in 2002. He became the sports editor of 1967.

His death will not mean a lot to most of my readers, but he was important to me because Jack Moss is the reason I wanted to become a sports writer.

I read his columns regularly as my mom and dad were subscribers of the Gazette.

Jack pulled no punches when he wrote his columns, but he was fair at the same time.

I wish I was a little bit more like him when it comes to writing columns.

Jack was known throughout the state of Michigan because of the quality of his work and his longevity at the Gazette.

He rubbed elbows with the state’s elite. Among the many people he called friends were Jim Gilmore, who spent many years fielding cars for the Indianapolis 500.

Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes were also among his friends, although I would imagine the three of them never got together in the same room.

I had the privilege to meet Jack on multiple occasions. He was always gracious and friendly. I never thought that he felt he was more important or bigger than the rest of us even though he certainly was in my eyes.

Like myself, Jack started writing for the local paper when he was still in school.
While I started writing for the Dowagiac Daily News while still in high school, Jack started his career with the Gazette while a student at Western Michigan University.

While I would never assume to be even close to his talent level, I did feel a kinship to him because we both loved what we did so much and we were not afraid to show it.

I was saddened when he retired in 2002, but he certainly deserved to walk away on his own terms.

Sports journalism lost a giant when Jack Moss passed away on Tuesday. There are very few sports writers like him left in this world.

When I step away from this profession, I hope that I was able to touch some lives in the same way that he did.

Scott Novak is sports editor for Leader Publications. He can be reached at scott.novak@leaderpub.com

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