SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. - George Kiseda, a former Philadelphia journalist who championed civil rights issues in sports in the 1950s and 1960s, has died. He was 80.
Mr. Kiseda died early Sunday of a form of dementia at an Alzheimer's care facility in Orange County, his brother Jim Kiseda said yesterday from Hopewell Junction, N.Y. Mr. 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, Philadelphia Daily News, and Philadelphia Bulletin in the 1950s and '60s before finishing his career in 1984 as a sports copy editor at the Los Angeles Times.
In 1957, he wrote an advance column for the Sun-Telegraph about a 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.
U.S. Rep. James Fulton of Pennsylvania read Mr. Kiseda's column on the floor of the House of Representatives. Army moved the game to West Point's smaller Michie Stadium.
Mr. Kiseda was nicknamed the "Silver Quill" by 76ers guard Wali 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."
Another admirer is Sandy Padwe, a former Inquirer columnist who became a senior editor at Sports Illustrated and later acting dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.
"I teach George Kiseda," Padwe told the Los Angeles Times. "He's the model of what every sportswriter should be."
A funeral will be held Saturday in Mr. Kiseda 's hometown of Monessen, Pa., with burial to follow.