Inducted on November 10, 2011
Art Rust, Jr. (WABC photo)
|Born||Arthur George Rust, Jr.
October 13, 1927
Harlem, New York, U.S.
|Died||January 12, 2010 (aged 82)|
|Alma mater||Long Island University|
|Occupation||Broadcaster, author, and sports historian|
|Spouse(s)||Edna (d. 1986)
Arthur George “Art” Rust, Jr. (October 13, 1927 in Harlem – January 12, 2010) was a successful sports broadcaster for half a century. He was also a sports historian and author. He was considered by many to have been the godfather of sports talk radio.
After he graduated from Long Island University, he was hired by WWRL Radio in Woodside, Queens in September 1954 . He began in their merchandising department, but within two months he got on the air. At WWRL, Rust hosted the Schaefer Circle of Sports for 14 years becoming one of the first African American sportcasters. At WWRL, Rust interviewed sports icons such as Hank Aaron and Sonny Liston. A music lover, Rust mixed up shows with interviews with artists like James Brown and Miles Davis, who was also a close friend.
In 1967, Rust landed a position as a sports announcer for NBC-TV. After some six years with NBC, Rust decided to return to the radio. He went on to work as sports director for WMCA, and as a sportscaster and commentator for WINS radio.
His first book, the controversially titled Get that Nigger off the Field, published in 1976, explores the rocky beginnings of blacks in baseball. Other books include Joe Louis, My Life (1978), a collaboration with the Brown Bomber; Recollections of a Baseball Junkie (1985) in which Rust waxes poetically about his life; Art Rust’s Illustrated History of the Black Athlete which celebrates greats such as Jessie Owens and Althea Gibson; and Darryl with Darryl Strawberry (1992).
He collaborated with his wife Edna on several of these books prior to her death in 1986. Devastated by the loss, for years after Rust delivered a “Goodnight Edna baby,” at the end of each “Sportstalk” broadcast. After some time he found a partner in Patty Murphy and remarried in 1991. He was the father of Suzanne Rust, a writer based in New York, and grandfather to her two young children.
Rust worked with New York’s WBLS Radio from 1991 to 1994, but the last few years found him working selectively. He was a contributor for Black Issues Book Review and kept up with the world of sports through books, newspapers and his friends in the business. His favorite pastimes were doting on his two grandchildren and listening to his extensive collection of Jazz records.
- Rust, Art, Jr., “Get that nigger off the field!” : a sparkling, informal history of the Black man in baseball 1976
- Rust, Art, Jr; Rust, Edna; Louis, Joe, Joe Louis, my life 1978
- Rust, Art, Jr., Baseball quiz book 1985
- Rust, Art, Jr.; Rust, Edna, Art Rust’s Illustrated history of the Black athlete 1985
- Rust, Art, Jr.; Rust, Edna, Recollections of a baseball junkie 1985
- Rust, Art, Jr., Legends : conversations with baseball greats 1989
- Rust, Art, Jr.; Strawberry, Darryl, Darryl 1992
- Hinckley, David, “Sports radio pioneer Art Rust dies at 82”, New York Daily News, Thursday, January 14th 2010
- Goldstein, Richard, “Art Rust Jr., Pioneer in Sports Talk Radio, Dies at 82”, The New York Times, January 13, 2010
- “Pioneering black sportscaster Art Rust Jr. dies”. Yahoo! Sports. 2010-01-13. Retrieved 2010-01-14.
- “New York Sportscaster Art Rust Dies At Age 82”, NY1 News.