SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. - George Kiseda, a journalist who worked at the

Daily News

and the Philadelphia

Bulletin

and championed civil-rights issues in sports in the 1950s and 1960s, has died. He was 80.

Kiseda died early Sunday of a form of dementia at an Alzheimer's care facility in Orange County in California, brother Jim Kiseda said yesterday from Hopewell Junction, N.Y. Kiseda had been at the San Juan Capistrano facility since November.

"He got into a lot of trouble for standing up for minorities," Jim Kiseda said. "He jeopardized his career in many ways."

George Kiseda wrote for the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, the Daily News and Bulletin in the 1950s and '60s before finishing his career in 1984 as a sports copy editor at the Los Angeles Times.

At the Daily News, he covered the City Hall beat briefly but made a fast impression. Sports columnist Bill Conlin once called Kiseda "the best City Hall reporter ever around here."

In 1957, he wrote a column for the Sun-Telegraph about an upcoming football game between Army and Tulane in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, where seating was segregated. It was the same year President Eisenhower sent troops to Arkansas to enforce integration of Little Rock's Central High School.

Pennsylvania U.S. Rep. James Fulton read Kiseda's column on the floor of the House of Representatives. Army moved the game to West Point's smaller Michie Stadium.

Kiseda, who was blind in one eye and never drove, was nicknamed the "Silver Quill" by former 76ers guard Wally Jones.

The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan, who received the basketball Hall of Fame's Curt Gowdy Award, once said: "The greatest NBA writer of all time was George Kiseda - the 'Silver Quill' - my favorite writer."

A funeral is Saturday in Kiseda's hometown of Monessen, Pa., with burial to follow. *