Mark Kram

Sportswriter. His name is a palindrome. Used a Royal typewriter. Died June 14, 2002. [NYTimes obit]

The best way to learn about Mark Kram’s life and work is to read the well-written memoir by his son, “Forgive Some Sinner“ (2008).

Writing is like painting. I freeze a scene in my head like a stop-action camera, study the colors and try to feel the mood. A story is a series of colorful scenes arranged to lead the reader to whatever it is I aim to say. The more vivid the scene, the better the story.

Kram said that he wanted to do in writing what Edward Hopper did in painting. Definitely New Journalism, but avoided first-person writing whenever he could. (Any interactions with Hunter S. Thompson?)

Gale Research published a bio in 2007.


A Wink at a Homely Girl” (1966 article about the 1966 World Series for The Baltimore Sun)

Twice-weekly column, “Another Day”

All Gone and Quite Forgotten”

began writing for Sports Illustrated [topic/article/Mark_Kram/1900-01-01/2100-12-31/mdd/index.htm">vault archive]

"No Place in the Shade" (profile of Cool Papa Bell, Sports Illustrated 1973)

"Hard Sell for Some Hard Knocks" (1974) [letters]

"Crafty Win for Muhammad" (1974) [letters]

"Why Ain't I in the Hall?" (1977)

"The Thrilla In Manila" (included in The Best American Sports Writing of the Century)

sports columnist for The Washington Times

in later days wrote for Esquire, Playboy, GQ and Men’s Health

Great Men Die Twice” (on Muhammad Ali, for Esquire, 1989)

Lawdy, Lawdy, He’s Great,” Sports Illustrated, 1999, on Joe Frazier and Muhammed Ali.


Blow Away: A Killer’s Story (co-authored with a hit man) (Viking 1979)

Miles to Go (a novel) (Morrow, 1982)

Ghosts of Manila: The Fateful Blood Feud Between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier (Harper 2001)

Mark Kram Jr

Had a son, Mark Kram Jr, also a sportswriter. He’s “not technically a junior” — the son also writes under the byline Mark Kram. Prolific and anthologized articles (example: “tory.second.html">The brutal trip down" in The Dallas Morning News 2003)

Wrote an article about his father: "Forgive Some Sinner" by Mark Kram Jr, The Smart Set, 2008 (appeared in The Best American Sports Writing 2008).

For further reading

First published on February 25th, 2009 at 2:03 pm (EST) and last modified on February 26th, 2009 at 12:15 pm (EST).