Saturday, March 26, 2011

Also in 1977:

On April 6 Jack Wasserman, Vancouver Sun columnist and broadcaster, died in Vancouver, aged 50.

Wasserman was born February 17, 1927 in Winnipeg. He came to Vancouver with his family in 1935, aged 8. He dropped out of law school to take a reporter's job with the Ubyssey. Wasserman graduated from UBC (1949), and joined the Vancouver Sun, becoming a police reporter. Legend has it that he was covering the 1951 royal visit of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip somewhere in the Interior (before their arrival in Vancouver) and, rushed for time, simply phoned in his notes. The notes were so good, the story goes, the Sun ran them verbatim. Then, starting May 12, 1954, they gave him a man-about-town column, and he hit his stride. His column on “the second front page” of the afternoon paper, often detailing the city’s underbelly, became a hugely popular feature. His biggest scoop was the death in 1959 of Errol Flynn in a West End apartment.

Wasserman hosted an open-line program with CJOR, later hosted Hourglass on CBC TV. He was fired by the Sun in 1967 for hosting his radio show but rehired 18 months later. He died of a heart attack while speaking at the Hotel Vancouver during a roast for Gordon Gibson, Sr.

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