Seasoned readers of New York Jets coverage in the Newark, N.J., Star-Ledger will be saddened to hear that Don Williams, the team’s long-time beatwriter into the mid-Nineties, died Thursday after a short illness. He was 79.
I sat next to Don for a couple of seasons along the “Jersey wall” of the old pressroom at the Jets’ former Hofstra University headquarters when I started covering the Jets as a beatwriter in 1994. He was a venerable newspaperman of five decades, with the Long Island Press before coming to the Ledger. In the Sixties he covered the Giants, and so covered a certain young, hard-working tight end Joe Walton. Don moved on to the Jets beat and was there to cover Walton again when he took over as Jets head coach from 1983-89.
Don had a staccato writing style and a serious demeanor but he was a passionate man who had time to break me in with invaluable advice during a period when the Jets were headed down before they headed back up. He had a fondness for Leo Durocher and the Brooklyn Dodgers, Frank Sinatra, and the Island. He’ll be missed.
The Williams wake will be held Monday at Donohue-Cecere Funeral Home, 290 Post Ave., Westbury, N.Y., and the funeral will be held the next day at Holy Rood Cemetery in Westbury. We send our condolences to Don’s family.
Tags: Don Williams, Joe Walton, Leo Durocher, Long Island Press, Newark Star-Ledger
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