Induction Year: 1995
Category: Journalism & Media
Location: Seton Hall
Born in Patchogue on May 1, 1931, George Usher attended St. Francis elementary school, Seton Hall High School and St. John’s & Adelphi Universities. He also enlisted in the Navy during the Korean War. While in high school, he played varsity baseball and football. Usher was known for recovering a blocked punt in the end zone to defeat Riverhead and give Seton Hall their first undefeated season in 1950.
He started writing for Newsday in 1958 when he answered a help wanted advertisement that he thought was for a part time custodian. He had covered all Long Island sports, especially auto racing.
Usher also did extensive coverage of the New York Jets. He wrote a Newsday piece as a beat writer, reporting on Joe Namath’s famous guarantee that the Jets would beat the NFL’s Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. He was one of two Newsday writers among the five nationally who went out on a limb in their predictions and took the Jets. He also covered the New Jersey Generals of the USFL, especially Herschel Walker.
Fellow Newsday writer Joe Donnelly stated that Usher’s piece on Columbia University star athlete and Mineola High School Coach Bruce Gehrke’s controversies were the finest he’s ever seen. He had also covered
Additionally, Usher has also written pieces for Pro Football Weekly, Football Digest, and Sports Illustrated.
Not only did he cover stories, but Usher also developed relationships with those he covered. Specifically, Joe Gardi and Walt Michaels.
George Usher also coached Little League Teams in Bayport for five years and Babe Ruth Teams for three years.
Usher influence people as well. For example, he brought high baseball prospects to major league tryouts and high school football players to training camp for the New York Jets at Hofstra University. His writings also helped unpaid Suffolk County high school coaches a salary schedule.
After a 34 year career, George retired on July 24, 1992.
His experience came together when Usher accomplished his dream of writing when he wrote about Arizona Cardinals coach, Buddy Ryan, whom he considers to be an excellent coach and close friend.