Twitter icon
Facebook icon

Jennie Rees, Jim Murray named to Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor

Esteemed turf writers Jennie Rees and the late Jim Murray have been elected to the National Museum of Racing’s Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor.


Rees has covered horse racing for the Louisville Courier-Journal since 1983 and has won Eclipse Awards in four different decades, three as an individual for writing and a fourth as the lead journalist in the Courier-Journal’s 2008 multimedia Eclipse-winning package on horse safety. Rees is also a five-time winner of the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby coverage.


A past president of the National Turf Writers Association (now the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association), Rees has been recognized for career achievement by the NTWA, the Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders and Maryland Jockey Club. She has twice been voted Kentucky Sportswriter of the Year. Rees grew up in Lexington, Ky., and is a graduate of Indiana University.


Murray (1919-1998) wrote about thoroughbred racing and numerous other sports for the Los Angeles Times from 1961 to 1998. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1990 and was named Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association 14 times. Murray was presented the J. G. Taylor Spink Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987.


Prior to his tenure with the Los Angeles Times, Murray wrote for Time magazine (1948 through 1955) and Sports Illustrated (1953 through 1961). He also was a reporter for the Los Angeles Examiner, as well as Connecticut’s New Haven Register and Hartford Times. A native of Hartford, Conn., Murray graduated from Trinity College in Hartford.


Murray’s legacy is honored today by the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation. The organization provides annual scholarships to undergraduate journalism students. There are currently 28 college journalism programs that participate in the student essay competition for the scholarships.


“I think Joe Hirsch would be pleased to have Jennie Rees and Jim Murray on his honor roll,” said Edward L. Bowen, chairman of the Hirsch Selection Committee. “They both typify the work ethic, writing skills, and journalistic integrity that we all respect.”


Previous selections to the Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor include Steven Crist (2010), Bill Nack (2010), Red Smith (2010), Charles Hatton (2010), Dr. Russ Harris (2011), Joe Palmer (2011), Jay Hovdey (2012), Whitney Tower (2012), Andrew Beyer (2013), Kent Hollingsworth (2013) and George F. T. Ryall (2013).


The Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor Committee is comprised of Bowen, National Museum of Racing trustees Leverett Miller and Ken Grayson, Cot Campbell of Dogwood Stable, retired turf publicist Jane Goldstein and Dan Smith of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.