Fred Russell


Fred Russell (Baseball 1925-26, Nashville Banner 1929-98)

Fred Russell was one of the greatest sports journalists of the 20th Century. Many admiring readers knew that. Fewer realized that he had played baseball for the Commodores. Mr. Russell covered and rubbed elbows with the legendary athletes of his day. His 25th anniversary at the Banner was celebrated with appearances by Jack Dempsey, Bobby Jones and Red Grange. The press boxes of Vanderbilt Stadium (1982) and Hawkins Field (2002) are named in his honor. Since his death January 26, 2003, his regular press box seat 9 at Dudley Field has never been quite the same.

  • Joined the Nashville Banner in 1929, working until the paper ceased operation in 1998 writing an estimated 12,000 columns
  • Vanderbilt’s Russell-Rice Scholarship is presented annually to a high school senior with outstanding promise in the field of journalism. It is co-named with another Vanderbilt sports writing legend, Grantland Rice.
  • Recipient of the first Grantland Rice Memorial Award in 1955
  • Jake Wade Award, 1966
  • U. S. Olympic Award for distinguished journalism, 1976
  • Distinguished American Award from National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame, 1980
  • Amos Alonzo Stagg Award from American Football Coaches Association, 1981
  • Haight Award, 1983
  • Red Smith Award from Associated Press Sports Editors, 1984
  • Member of Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
  • Bert McGrane Award from Football Writers Association
  • Chair of the Honors Court of the National Football Hall of Fame
  • President of Football Writers Association of America, 1965-66
  • Southern Chairman of the Heisman Trophy Committee
  • National president of the Vanderbilt University Alumni Association