In my later years I have sought to become simpler, straighter and purer in my handling of the language. I've had many writing heroes, writers who have influenced me. Of the ones still alive, I can think of E.B. White. I certainly admire the pure, crystal stream of his prose. When I was very young as a sportswriter I knowingly and unashamedly imitated others. I had a series of heroes who would delight me for a while and I'd imitate them--Damon Runyon, Westbrook Pegler, Joe Williams.

- Red Smith

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