Remembering legendary sportswriter Phil Ranallo

Jan 07, 2016 730

By Mike Billoni

I was a 22-year-old rookie sportswriter at the Buffalo Courier-Express in August of 1977 when at precisely 7 p.m. my idol, legendary columnist Phil Ranallo, walked into the sports department. A Lucky Strike cigarette dangling from his lips, Ranallo presented his column to copy editor Joe Alli.

As I sat at my desk on the fourth floor of what is now the headquarters of the Diocese of Buffalo at 795 Main St., I was mesmerized watching Ranallo interact with the editors around the rim. Back then there were no computers. We used typewriters and turned in our stories on paper. 

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