Sid Hartman

Sid Hartman (born March 15, 1920) is an American sports journalist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the WCCO 830 AM radio station. For 20 years, he was also a panelist on the weekly television program "Sports Show with Mike Max," which aired Sunday nights at 9:30 p.m. on WUCW 23 in the Twin Cities metro area.[2]

Sid Hartman
Hartman covering the 2013 Minnesota Gophers Spring Game
Born (1920-03-15) March 15, 1920 (age 100)
OccupationSports journalist
Years active1945–present[1]
Notable credit(s)
Star Tribune
ChildrenChad Hartman

Early LifeEdit

Sid Hartman was born at Maternity Hospital on Glenwood Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota on March 15, 1920.[3][4] He grew up in a Jewish family in north Minneapolis.[5] His father, Jack Hechtman, was born in Russia and immigrated to the United States at age 16.[6] Hechtman changed his name to Hartman after he arrived in the United States.[7] Sid Hartman's mother, Celia Weinberg, immigrated to the United States from Latvia at age nine.[8] Both of his parents died in 1972.[9]

Jack Hartman could neither read nor write and suffered from alcoholism.[10] He made his living by driving a delivery truck, primarily making furniture deliveries.[11] Celia Hartman owned an apparel store on the north side of Minneapolis and also did the bookkeeping for Jack Hartman's delivery business.[12] The family moved frequently, living first at a home on Aldrich Avenue, then at a home on Humboldt Avenue, and later at homes in the 700 block of Irving Avenue.[13]

Sid Hartman attended Talmud Torah Jewish School from age 10 to 14, before enrolling at Minneapolis North High School.[14] He began selling newspapers at age 9.[15] As a teenager, he developed the use of newspaper boxes, where customers would pay for newspapers on the honor system by leaving coins in a change box.[16]

Sid Hartman attended Minneapolis North High School but dropped out his junior year when he received a lucrative news run for delivering the Minneapolis Tribune.[17][18] In 1941, he lost his Tribune news run when the Des Moines newspaper magnate John Cowles Sr. bought the Tribune Company.[19] For a brief time, Hartman became a vacuum salesman, but the occupation did not suit him.[20] In his autobiography, Hartman conceded that he was "the world's worst vacuum cleaner salesman."[21] After Pearl Harbor, Hartman attempted to enlist in the United States military during World War Two but was rejected because of his asthma.[22]

In the early 1940s, Hartman got a key break from Louie Mohs, the circulation manager of the Minneapolis Times.[23] Mohs gave him the Times news run for downtown Minneapolis, which paid well and got Hartman out of the vacuum business.[24] In 1944 Hartman got an even bigger break when Mohs recommended him to Times sports editor and columnist Dick Cullum, who was looking for a sports desk intern.[25] Cullum hired Hartman, the beginning of a sports writing career that would last over 75 years.[26]

Minneapolis LakersEdit

As a 27-year-old in 1947, Hartman became the acting general manager of the Minneapolis Lakers. Hartman helped build what would become the first dynasty in the NBA.[27]

Sports columnistEdit

Sid Hartman has been a popular and widely read sports columnist throughout his career. Hartman's columns have always been strong on reporting, while the writing is less admired. Dick Cullum, Hartman's first editor, explained it this way: "Writers are a dime a dozen, but reporters are impossible to find." Steve Rushin of Sports Illustrated, noted, "English sometimes appears to be his second language." [28]

Hartman has also appeared as a radio sportscaster and commentator for years on Minneapolis's WCCO Radio. One of the elements of his style - often caricatured by local comics and other radio personalities - is his habit while interviewing a sports figure of referring to him or her as "my close personal friend". Over the years, his "close personal friends" have included the likes of George Steinbrenner, Bobby Knight, Lou Holtz, and Carl Yastrzemski.


Hartman has published two books:

  • Sid!: The Sports Legends, the Inside Scoops, and the Close Personal Friends is an autobiography of Sid Hartman[29] The book discusses many of the events in the Minnesota sports scene from 1940 onward.
  • Sid Hartman's Great Minnesota Sports Moments


On Oct. 10, 2010, a statue of Hartman was unveiled outside of Target Center in Downtown Minneapolis.[30]

The Minnesota Vikings honored Hartman by naming the media entrance at U.S. Bank Stadium after and with photos adorning the media entrance of U.S. Bank Stadium, plus named the interview room at their new practice facility in Eagan, MN after Sid Hartman.[31]

At the (now-defunct) Italian restaurant Vescio's in Dinkytown, Minneapolis, a pizza, the Sid's Special, was named in tribute of him.

On November 17, 2018 the University of MN renamed the press box at TCF Bank Stadium the Sid Hartman Press Box. The University release a statement ending with, "The Sid Hartman Press Box is a tribute to his work, his life and his legacy."

Personal lifeEdit

Hartman's name was among tens of thousands on Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff's client list. It is not publicly known how much money, if any, Hartman lost with Madoff when the $50 billion fraud was exposed late in 2008.[32]

Hartman's son Chad Hartman also has a radio show on WCCO.

In December 2016, Hartman was hospitalized in Minneapolis after falling and breaking his right hip.[33] He underwent surgery to repair his hip the following day. As a result, Hartman announced his columns will be placed on hiatus.[33]

On January 13, 2017 Sid was back to work attending the news conference for new Gophers football coach PJ Fleck.[1]

He turned 100 in March 2020. He has had 21,149 bylines.[34]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ "Sports Show Hosts - Mike Max Bio - Sid Hartman Bio - Patrick Reusse Bio - Dark Star Bio - The Sports Show". Retrieved 2016-06-30.
  3. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, p. 39
  4. ^
  5. ^ Twin Cities Sports: Games for All Seasons. University of Arkansas Press. February 3, 2020. p. 134. ISBN 978-1682261095. By this time, Minneapolis' Jewish citizens were creating their own enterprise. Restaurateur Max Winter, movie-house mogul Ben Berger, ice-show promoter, Morris Chalfen, and young newspaperman, Sid Hartman....were the principals in what became professional basketball's first dynasty
  6. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, p. 39
  7. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, p. 39
  8. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, p. 39
  9. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, p. 46
  10. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, p. 39
  11. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, pp. 39-40
  12. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, pp. 39-40
  13. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, p. 40
  14. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, p. 40
  15. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, p. 40
  16. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, p. 47
  17. ^
  18. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, p. 47
  19. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, pp. 48-9
  20. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, p. 49
  21. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, p. 49
  22. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, p. 51
  23. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, p. 49
  24. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, p. 49
  25. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, p. 49
  26. ^ Sid Hartman, Sid!, p. 49
  27. ^ The Dynasties: Minneapolis Lakers By Alex Sachare From the Official NBA Encyclopedia, Third Edition
  28. ^ Prince of the Sports Page by Steve Rushin
  29. ^ Levy, Paul (July 27, 1997). "Simply Sid; Sid Hartman says in his new autobiography that he doesn't think there are enough geniuses to duplicate his imprint on the newspaper business". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on January 10, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  30. ^ WCCORadio (2010-10-07), Sid Hartman Statue Unveiled in Downtown Minneapolis, retrieved 2016-06-30
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Hundreds in Minnesota are Madoff clients," Minneapolis Star Tribune, February 5, 2009
  33. ^ a b Andy Greder (December 18, 2016). "Star Tribune columnist Sid Hartman, 96, hospitalized". Twin Cities Pioneer Retrieved December 29, 2016.
  34. ^ At 100, Sid Hartman Is Still Doing What He Loves

External linksEdit