Damon Runyon

(1880 - 1946)

Born in Kansas, Damon Runyon is best known today for his portraits of the Broadway demimonde, especially those from his book of short stories Guys and Dolls. After writing for various Western newspapers—he covered his first hanging at the age of eleven—he came to New York from Denver in 1911 to work as a sportswriter for the New York American. After his death from throat cancer, friends (including Walter Winchell and Milton Berle) publicly solicited donations for what would become the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fund, still active today.

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