Sports Columnist Ben Smith Retires After 38 Years

By Dean Pantazi - 21Alive
By Eric Dutkiewicz - 21Alive

August 2, 2014 Updated Aug 2, 2014 at 11:14 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE (21Alive) - Ben Smith turned the proverbial newspaper page Friday, retiring from his sportswriting career.

Smith, a sports columnist at The Journal-Gazette, is leaving the morning paper after 28 years.

Smith previously wrote for The Anderson Herald-Bulletin, and his career has spanned 38 years.

He has covered everything from high school state championships, to nearly every Indianapolis 500 since 1977, to the Fort Wayne Fury years--about which he's writing a book.

"I've always had sort of a special place in my heart for high school sports," Smith, 59, says.

Ultimately, he says the people he has interviewed and colleagues he has worked with as best part of the job.

Smith plans to freelance in retirement, so his sportswriting will not totally be finished.

21Alive's Dean Pantazi has worked right along side Smith for decades, and caught up with Smith during his last week at The Journal-Gazette.

Read Smith's final column here.

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