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Rep. Phillips Honors The Life Of Longtime Sports Legend Sid Hartman

Minnetonka, MN Today, Dean Phillips released a speech he is submitting to the official Congressional Record honoring the life of longtime Star Tribune columnist and Minnesota legend Sid Hartman, who passed away on Sunday, Oct. 18, at the age of 100.

The full text of the speech is below:

Madam Speaker, it is with profound sadness and great affection that I rise today to celebrate the extraordinary life of Sid Hartman, a Minnesota sports pioneer and giant in journalism who passed away this week at the age of 100.

A child of Jewish immigrant parents who grew up in North Minneapolis in the 1920’s, Sid sold newspapers on downtown street corners - unwittingly beginning what would become a 75-year career in the news business. His first column in the Star Tribune was published on September 11, 1945 - just days after the end of WWII - and by the time he published his last column for the Minneapolis Star Tribune on October 18, 2020, his total number of bylines reached 21,235.

I was first introduced to Sid by my great-grandfather at a Vikings game at the old Met Stadium in the mid 1970’s. I was a star struck kid, meeting sports royalty that rivaled my idols, Fran Tarkenton, Chuck Foreman and Alan Page. And from the time I could read, Sid’s column was a staple of my mornings for my entire life. 

Sid Hartman had the audacity to dream big. As an entrepreneurial young journalist, he helped bring the Detroit Gems to Minneapolis in 1947, where they became the Minneapolis Lakers and established a National Basketball Association championship dynasty - winning five titles in six years with such greats as George Mikan, Elgin Baylor, and future Vikings head coach, Bud Grant. 

A superfan of all things Minnesota, Sid was our sports documentarian and historian, and saw teams, arenas and stadiums come and go over 75 years. He covered the Millers, the Twins, the North Stars, the Wild, the Vikings, the Lakers, the Timberwolves, and his beloved Minnesota Gophers. He taught us to love sports and sports personalities and reported with fairness and fortitude. Between the games, news conferences, and award ceremonies for Minnesota’s sports teams, Sid was always easy to spot with his old black tape recorder and address book overflowing with numbers for his thousands of  “close, personal friends.”

Defying his age and ever adapting to new sports, new teams, and new technologies, he kept up his writing pace even after his 100thbirthday. In a column celebrating his milestone birthday, he said, “I have followed the advice that if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. Even at 100 I can say I still love what I do.” What a lesson for all of us! 

Sid was a loving father and grandfather. His son, Chad Hartman, followed him into the world of sports, and they served alongside each other at WCCO-AM radio for years. Friends, family and community meant the world to him, and his integrity and fairness opened doors and generated scoops that few could rival. 

Sid’s contributions to the sports culture of Minnesota are unmatched and indelible. He made the Twin Cities big league towns, and touched countless lives along the way. It was an honor and privilege to know him and to devour his column every morning for decades. Perhaps from heaven he can help the Vikings win the elusive Super Bowl he was never able to celebrate over the course of 60 seasons.

Minnesota and I will miss Sid Hartman, and our entire delegation joins me in sharing our heartfelt condolences with Sid’s family, loved ones, fellow sports journalists, and friends.