A titan among sportswriters and staple of Dallas-Fort Worth area media passed away Thursday at age 96.

William “Blackie” Sherrod was voted Texas Sportswriter of the Year 16 times.

His career began in Temple and stopped briefly for World War II. He then moved to North Texas and wrote for the Fort Worth Press, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Dallas Morning News.

Sherrod was a sportswriter first, but he was a total newspaper man. He was sent to cover the 1960 Democratic National Convention, and his stories were picked up by national newspapers.

In 1963, he coordinated coverage of the Kennedy assassination for the Times Herald.

In 1969, Sherrod was assigned to cover the Apollo 11 mission, the first to land humans on the moon. The piece he wrote for that won an award for science writing.

He was born William Forrest Sherrod on November 19, 1919. The story goes he got the nickname “Blackie” from a football coach, referencing how tan his skin was. Sherrod didn’t like it, but was told by an editor that Blackie is a name that will stick with readers. So Sherrod stuck with it.

His wife Joyce said Sherrod died of natural causes at his home.