You don’t get to be a newspaper columnist unless you have something to say – a viewpoint- that reaches and touches the readers of the paper. At times your columns are inflammatory to some, beloved by others and sometimes they are saved by the readers because what you’ve written is so clear, so true, so authentic to their lives that reading the columns makes them feel you not only know them, but are OF them.
Pete Hamill was a great journalist, and an even better big brother
By Denis Hamill nydailynews.com — Pete Hamill, a former columnist and editor-in-chief of the Daily News and a best-selling author, died Wednesday at age 85. His brother Denis delivered this eulogy Saturday. Pete Hamill is going to be fine. My big brother Pete helped me with my grammar school book reports, my teenage hippie poetry, my first piece of published journalism, my first produced screenplay and most of my published novels. Pete always made everything he touched better.
Brian Dennehy's acting award-winning prowess is born of tough Irish roots
By Denis Hamill nydailynews.com — Actor Brian Dennehy will receive the 2010 Eugene O'Neill Lifetime Achievement Award by the Irish American Writers and Artists Inc.(Corkery/News) Back in the late '70s, part of my drinking days, I was living in Los Angeles, writing a column for the L.A. Herald Examiner, and did some of my best gargling in an Irish joint called The Gingerman in Beverly Hills owned by Carroll O'Connor.
Denis was a columnist for: (1) New York Magazine (2) LA Herald Examiner (3) Boston Herald-American (4) New York Newsday (5) New York Daily News: 24 years of reporting and columns for the New York Daily News.
Denis learned from his older brother Pete Hamill who would phone in stories from around the world to Denis, who would type them up, and then call the New York Post. A copy boy would come and pick up the copy. The next morning, there it was, in the paper. Denis learned about forming an opinion based on look-see reporting, active verbs, concrete nouns and hard deadlines during his apprentice to one of New York City’s most lauded and beloved daily newspaper columnists.
Denis reported for: (1) Flatbush Life/Weekly/paid $100 week 1976 (2) Village Voice/Legendary Weekly Alternative Newspaper, Home of controversial, incendiary, provocative writers and reporters who told it exactly as they saw it. In 1977 Denis won the prestigious Meyer Berger Award from Columbia University for best NYC reporting (3) New York Magazine – City Hall column called The Koch Watch and feature stories (4) Los Angeles Herald Examiner - Was called by the legendary editor Don Forst to move out west, cover the city of Los Angeles, and write a three-times-a-week cityside column. And learn how to drive. Hamill was so homesick for Brooklyn that he wrote his first novel, “Stomping Ground,” for Delacorte Press about criminals from Brooklyn. (5) Boston Herald-American - Don Forst moved back East and took Denis along, to cover Boston and write a three-times-a-week cityside column. While there Hamill wrote his second novel, “Machine,” a political thriller set in the corrupt netherworld of the Brooklyn Democratic machine. (6) New York Newsday - When Newsday created an all-new newspaper for New York City in addition to the original on Long Island, the choice for editor could only have been Don Forst. And once again, Forst hired his columnist of choice. Denis covered the city with a column for six years – until he signed with the New York Daily News – but took time in between to write his third novel “House on Fire,” for Grove Atlantic about a Brooklyn family of cops and firefighters. (7) New York Daily News - Denis spent 24 years of covering all things New York in his column and wrote seven more novels and various movie projects.
Born in Brooklyn
Denis Hamill is a journalist, novelist, screenwriter, and TV writer. As a journalist at the Village Voice, he won the prestigious Meyer Berger Award from Columbia University for best NYC reporting. His columns for New York magazine, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, the Boston Herald American, New York Newsday and 24 years at New York Daily News became an integral part of each city's life. In addition, he is the author of ten novels, several screenplays, movies, and TV shows/series.