Inducted on November 11, 1999
Mention the name Tony Paige around these parts and hundreds of people will raise their hands in unison, feeling good about themselves because he has touched their lives.
Paige has been a tireless worker in the field of sports journalism for 25 years and has been in just about every facet of the business. Mention a sport and Paige can give his extensive expertise on it. But to most fans, Paige means boxing.
Since March of 1995, he has been the voice of the boxing fan on WFAN (660 AM) and the large numbers of pugilistic fans can’t wait until the wee hours of Sunday morning (1-6) to talk about the “Sweet Science” with Paige who waxes poetic about the sport with the grace of a six-punch combination. His hand speed is flawless.
You may have seen his face on television behind the cameras of ESPN, ESPN2 and Comcast. He has been all over the world doing commentary on fights and has covered some of the giant matches of the past 15 years: Chavez-Whitaker, Bowe-Holyfield II and
Moorer-Foreman as a television producer/reporter.
From 1989-93, he was the sports editor of the Brooklyn-based weekly newspaper, The City Sun, overseeing the development of the sports section from one page to six pages a week and the overall implementation of four sports supplements. Say that three times fast. In addition to those duties, he found time to write a column, aptly named, “The Sports Paige.”
In September of 1987 and 1990, he was named weekly newspaper winner in the Women’s Foundation’s journalism contest and was a finalist in 1988, 1989 and 1991. He also captured the 1990 Griot Award from the New York Association of Black Journalists for his 1989, 12-page supplement “Black Women in Sports.” From may 1997 to January 1998, he wrote a daily sports column for the New Jersey-based Asbury Park Press’ website (www.injersey.com) before it became fashionable about the country.
His work has appeared in the Village Voice, Black Enterprise, The Ring, Newsday and Multichannel News. He is also a former radio news reporter for WTNT, a CBS affiliate in Tallahassee, Fla.
He spent valuable time at New York’s NBC-TV, starting out as supervisor for the photo department. He moved on to the sports department for the Seoul Olympics in 1988.
If you think he’s just a writer, think again. The omnipresent Paige served as a photographer for a month (October 1976) in Uganda, while Idi Amin was president, no less.
If you want a speaker, he’s your man. In August of 1988, he spoke at the National Association of Black Journalists convention in St. Louis, at a seminar entitled “How To Be An Effective Sportswriter.” In July of 1993, he moderated a panel on “Black in Sports” at the annual NAACP convention in Indianapolis.
He became an innovator during his three-year term as president of the Boxing Writers Association of America by instituting the now-popular Liebling Awards, going to writers of the past in honore of one of America’s outstanding pugilistic writers, A.J. Liebling. He was president from 1993-96.
Paige attended City College of New York and Florida A&M University. He is married to the former Terilyn Smith of Bermuda and they reside in East Windsor with their one-year-old son, Jalen. Paige has two children, Dante, 20, and Nicole, 18, from a previous marriage.
By Chris Thorne, Star-Ledger, 1997 Hall of Fame Inductee