Transylvania alumnus Billy Reed began his career majoring in English while working full-time as a staff writer and assistant sports editor for the Lexington Herald-Leader. From those beginnings, Reed would go on to become one of America’s most successful sports writers.
His next stop was Louisville and the Courier-Journal, and then, New York and a four-year stint with Sports Illustrated Magazine.
In 1972, Reed returned to Louisville and the Courier-Journal as special projects writer, general columnist, and sports editor.
In 1988, following the sale of the Courier-Journal, Reed found himself coming full circle, rejoining the staffs of both the Lexington Herald-Leader and Sports Illustrated as a special contributor and senior writer, a role he would fill for the next 30 years.
Reed has covered three Olympic Games, 12 World Series, eight Super Bowls, nine Masters Golf Tournaments, 29 Kentucky Derbys, 15 Belmont Stakes, 16 Preaknesses, four Indianapolis 500s, five U.S. Open Golf Tournaments, and 20 NCAA Final Four Tournaments.
He has been named Kentucky Sports Writer of the Year eight times by the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters and is a seven-time winner of the Red Smith Award and two-time winner of the Eclipse Award for distinguished writing about Thoroughbred racing. He has also won The Old Hilltop Award, two National Headliner Awards, the Engelhard Award, and the Sigma Delta Chi National Award for General Reporting.
Reed has been inducted into the U.S. Basketball Writers Hall of Fame as well as Transylvania’s Pioneer Hall of Fame.
Billy Reed is the author of numerous books and a contributor to a variety of anthologies, including The Best of Sports Illustrated and Best Sports Stories. He recently commented on the 50th anniversary of the UK-Texas Western game.
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