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Family Remembers Chappaqua's Bert Sugar

Daughter, wife, describe the late boxing writer and his connection to the area.

Bert Sugar's family remembers the hall of fame boxing writer as outgoing and involved in the community.

"He was really good in a crowd," said daughter Jennifer Frawley.

A Chappaqua resident of about 45 years, Sugar died Sunday night of cardiac arrest and had lung cancer, said his wife, Suzzane. He was 74.

He started chemotherapy treatment in October and even in the last few months he continued to write, Frawley said, explaining that he also was happy when people called. She spoke of his intelligence and his love of sports.

Suzzane Sugar remembers a husband who loved boxing and who was involved with the Chappaqua Drama Group. She described how during the nation's bicenntenial he was one of several people who took turns playing Horace Greeley.

Frawley, who grew up in Chappaqua and now lives in Pleasantville, recalls her father's interest in history, including books on Harry Houdi and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Locally, he was involved with the New Castle Historical Society and the Chappaqua Library. He was also involved with talks and displays, she explained.

Sugar is also survived by a son, J.B., a fellow Greeley alumn. Frawley said that he now lives in New Jersey.

Sugar's death at Northern Westchester Hospital was first reported Sunday night by the Associated Press and The Journal News.

He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005, according to its website. The hall notes that Sugar was known for his combination of a fedora and cigar. His career highlights, according to the hall of fame, included editing Boxing Illustrated in the 1970s, being editor in chief of The Ring in the 1970s-80s and having founded Fight Game magazine.

Sugar was a prolific writer, according to his hall of fame biography. His works included The 100 Greatest Boxers of All Time, and Sting like a Bee, Inside Boxing.

Chris Marengo March 26, 2012 at 10:51 AM
Nice man, very personable and friendly. An old-school type who was comfortable in a bar room setting and could talk off the cuff on a variety of subjects. Rest in piece, Sir.
John Ehrlich March 26, 2012 at 10:40 PM
What can you say about a Bert Sugar? That he defined the word "character;" that his signature fedora and cigar made him instantly recognizable in any arena around the world and of course in the Chappaqua he loved; that he was one of the greatest and most prolific sportswriters this country as ever known; that we would chat for literally hours about Ali or one of the others we covered decades ago; that every time you ran into him he had just published another book, over 80; that he gladly turned in a JD and a career as a lawyer for an advertising slogan he would pen- one of the original 1960's "Madmen"; that he was a Terrapin and the affable black sheep of a distinguished DC family; that he never stopped talking about the most patient woman anyone has known, his beautiful bride he worshipped; that he appeared in five films including Night and the City, The Great White Hype, Rocky Balboa, Unforgivable Blackness and The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson; that no one would be surprised to learn that Bert actually was Damon Runyan reincarnated; that he bought Boxing illustrated; edited and published The Ring magazine; that he was a friend and neighbor I'll certainly never forget; that his stories were always longer and far more colorful than this intentionally verbose run-on sentence. I'm going to celebrate your life by talking about you with anyone who cares to listen this week with a bourbon and a cigar in front of Quaker Hill Tavern. We already miss you Bert, a lot.
Linda Flickinger March 27, 2012 at 12:33 AM
I am happy to hear Bert Sugar never stopped talking about his wife, Suzy....his beautiful bride whom he adored. I graduated from high school with her and she most certainly deserved to have the undying love of her husband....in many ways she too was a renegade from her own family and married the man she met and fell in love with at the University of Michigan. Rest in peace, Bert....so glad Suzy had such a life mate and love.
Jason Levin March 28, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Bert was a mentor to me but more than that, a friend. Since I went to Scarsdale HS, Horace Greeley HS came up often and we never tired of faking arguments about their relative merits. I never visited Bert in his home, but he always spoke of it, and of course his wife, in glowing terms. He loved the area....a one-of-a-kind man and I was lucky to have known him.
John Ehrlich March 28, 2012 at 03:55 PM
For those interested Bert Sugar funeral/memorial service will be 2:30pm Saturday at the First Congregational Church of Chappaqua. 210 Orchard Ridge Road Chappaqua, New York 10514 (914) 238-4411 www.fcc-chappaqua.org May he rest in peace (with a drink in hand and cigar of course).

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