Jimmy Breslin, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and self-described “street reporter” who chronicled life in New York City for decades, died Sunday, according to sources. He was 86.
The Queens-born Breslin whose legendary journalism was made during stints in a who’s who of New York newspapers, including the New York Post, Newsday, the New York Herald Tribune, and the New York Journal American, was also a novelist, screenwriter and playwright.
His most noteworthy column featured Clifton Pollard, the man who dug John F. Kennedy’s grave following the assassination.
“Clifton Pollard wasn’t at the funeral. He was over behind the hill, digging graves for $3.01 an hour in another section of the cemetery. He didn’t know who the graves were for. He was just digging them and then covering them with boards,” Breslin wrote in the 1963 column in the New York Herald Tribune.
In an interview in 2013, Breslin told NBC News he bypassed the gathering of world leaders to concentrate on the gravedigger.
“I could go to the funeral. There were a thousand reporters. I didn’t want to go. I went to the guy’s house,” Breslin said.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jimmy Breslin dies at 86 – New York Post