Sep 27, 2009

Jim Long was 46

Jim Long, who worked as a sports writer for the Victorville Daily Press and San Bernardino Sun, died on Thursday at Kaiser Hospital in Fontana. He was 46.

Paul Oberjuerge, one of Long's former colleagues, remembers Long and his career:

He never in his life had what most of us would consider an “easy” day. He was born with Type 1 diabetes and palsy, suffered from lung cancer in his 30s (and lost half a lung) … and then battled strokes and cancer, again, over the past two years.

Yet he accomplished as much as most of us who have none of the issues he dealt with, and he never once complained, in my presence, about how he had been dealt a bad hand. In fact, he fought Mother Nature to a standstill for nearly 45 years, entered a profession for which he was perfectly suited, succeeded in it and, eventually, became the sports authority for the huge tract of territory (stretching from Hesperia to Baker) known as the High Desert — the San Bernardino County side of it, anyway.

He was mentally tough, impossible to intimidate, a good writer, an excellent researcher — and fully committed to the idea of print journalism, which he loved.

He was my first hire. He was one of my best hires, as well. He took himself and his job seriously and was utterly loyal to the newspaper and the San Bernardino Sun sports section. He never considered any assignment beneath his dignity. He covered preps, local colleges, California League baseball — and even some “downtown” events — and brought the same enthusiasm to all those assignments.

Oberjuerge says he'll update his post when the funeral arrangements and cause of death become known. The full post is here.

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