Joe Gilmartin, Phoenix sports columnist, at 88

Associated Press 

PHOENIX — Joe Gilmartin, a sports columnist for the old Phoenix Gazette for more than 30 years and a member of the Pro Basketball Writers Hall of Fame, has died at 88.

The Phoenix Suns announced Mr. Gilmartin’s death on Wednesday.


Mr. Gilmartin moved to Arizona from Wichita, Kan., in 1962 and the following year was sports editor of the Gazette — then the Phoenix afternoon newspaper. He remained as columnist for the newspaper until 1996, when the Gazette merged with The Arizona Republic.

Mr. Gilmartin — selected Arizona sportswriter of the year a record 16 times — remained a fixture in Phoenix sports, contributing to the Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks websites.

He received the Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014. It’s presented to writers and sportscasters whose longtime efforts significantly contribute to basketball.

Mr. Gilmartin, who served for a time as broadcast analyst for Suns games, authored the book ‘‘The Little Team That Could . . . And Darned Near Did’’ about the 1976 run to the NBA Finals.

He is survived by his son, Leo.