In my later years I have sought to become simpler, straighter and purer in my handling of the language. I've had many writing heroes, writers who have influenced me. Of the ones still alive, I can think of E.B. White. I certainly admire the pure, crystal stream of his prose. When I was very young as a sportswriter I knowingly and unashamedly imitated others. I had a series of heroes who would delight me for a while and I'd imitate them—Damon Runyon, Westbrook Pegler, Joe Williams.
Walter Wellesley (Red) Smith (1905–1982), U.S. author, sports columnist, reporter. A personal recollection that originally appeared in No Cheering in the Press Box by Jerome Holtzman. The Red Smith Reader, "I'd Like to Be Called a Good Reporter," Random House (1982).