January 9, 2009

Racing Form reporter Joe Hirsch dead at 80

Longtime turf writer Joe Hirsch, who spent nearly 50 years at the Daily Racing Form, died Friday at the age of 80, the newspaper said.

Hirsch covered the gamut of thoroughbred racing and was known for the Derby Doings column he penned for the Form since the 1950s.

Hirsch, who battled Parkinson's disease, had been living in a long-term care facility in New York after breaking his hip last spring. Funeral services will be held Sunday at the Plaza Jewish Community Chapel in Manhattan.

The New York native won two Eclipse Awards in his career as well as all three of the award categories presented by the National Turf Writers Association.

There has been no more respected figure in horse racing over the last 50 years than Joe Hirsch, Alex Waldorp, president and CEO of the National Turf Writers Association, said in a written statement. He eloquently brought our sport to the hearts and minds of millions.