The Press: Runyon with the Half-Boob Air

Damon Runyon got his first newspaper job when he was a gawky 16-year-old Kansas kid. He has written about 80,000,000 words since then. Some of them were very good. As William Randolph Hearst's top sports-byliner, he could make a silk purse out of a cauliflower ear. When Collier's ballyhooed a Runyon short story on its cover, newsstand sales sometimes went up 60,000 copies. But last week, at 65, Damon Runyon looked back at his career, and said he wished he had been playing Pagliacci instead.

In his daily column in 125 papers, Runyon reviewed his own latest book, (Short Takes, a selection...

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