“Semi-Tough” was tailored for a 1978 film that starred Burt Reynolds as Billy Clyde Puckett.
Dan Thomas Jenkins was born in Fort Worth on Dec. 2, 1928, though many sources checklist the 12 months as 1929. His father, E. T. Jenkins Jr., often called Bud, was a salesman, a gambler and evidently a charmer who left the household when Dan was a toddler, although he confirmed up every now and then to take his son to sporting occasions.
In a 2014 ebook, “His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir,” Mr. Jenkins expressed a passion for his father, in addition to for his mom, Catherine (O’Hern) Jenkins, whom he described with arch affection as a self-indulgent character who bought antiques and transformed homes “and ultimately invented the migraine headache.”
From the age of 2, Mr. Jenkins grew up — contentedly, he wrote, in spite of the Depression — in the house of his father’s dad and mom. He turned the primary member of the household to go to school, — at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, the place he performed on the golf staff. One of his early heroes, the golfer Ben Hogan, additionally lived in Fort Worth, and Hogan turned one thing of a mentor, admired by Mr. Jenkins for his work ethic, perseverance (Hogan returned to championship golf after practically being killed in a automobile accident in 1949) and devotion to excellence.
Mr. Jenkins bought his first job in journalism in the mid-1950s, at The Fort Worth Press, employed by Blackie Sherrod, a author and editor who would himself turn into celebrated in Texas as a Southern Damon Runyon. Mr. Jenkins succeeded Sherrod, whom he cited as an affect, as sports activities editor earlier than touchdown at Sports Illustrated.
Mr. Jenkins’s first two marriages ended in divorce. In 1959, he married June Burrage, whom he had recognized whereas rising up in Fort Worth. She survives him. In addition to his daughter, his survivors embrace his sons Marty and Dan Jr., a granddaughter and a great-granddaughter.
Mr. Jenkins plumbed the homey if earthy knowledge of Fort Worth in a quantity of books after “Semi-Tough,” together with the novels “Dead Solid Perfect” (1974), a few skilled golfer in the swaggering Billy Clyde mildew, and “Baja Oklahoma” (1981), a few feisty waitress and single mom with aspirations to be a rustic singer; each turned tv motion pictures.
Another novel, “You Gotta Play Hurt” (1991), a sendup of the sportswriter’s life, tells of a cantankerous Fort Worthian and the stuffy, huge time journal he works for. Mr. Jenkins wrote it after leaving Sports Illustrated in the 1980s in a dispute with the managing editor on the time, Gilbert Rogin.
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