Temple University was part of Bill Conlin long before he became part of Temple University.
At his birth, his parents were living in the row home of Conlin’s grandfather at 1937 N. 13th St., now the site of Beury Hall. His father was playing Temple football under Coach Heinie Miller when he met and eventually married his mother.
He returned to the campus where he was born in September 1956 as a 22-year-old freshman down to his last strike. After a stint at Bucknell University and three years of professional lifeguarding, it dawned on Conlin that beach bums lived fast, died young and had good-looking corpses. He decided that if he wanted to die old, it was time to get a life. Conlin’s father contacted Temple alumni secretary Earl Yeomans, who was able to get him one last shot.
Conlin says he can’t remember why he chose the Journalism Department, never having worked for a publication in high school. It was during his sophomore year that he learned to his shock and horror that joining the staff of The Temple News was a course requirement.
He says The Temple News became all-consuming. He climbed the ranks as sports editor and managing editor, becoming editor-in-chief of the No. 1 college newspaper in the Mid-Atlantic states both semesters of his senior year.
He won the Sword Award, Sigma Delta Chi Award and was hired in June 1960 by the nation’s No. 1 afternoon newspaper, the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. He has penned sports stories for the Philadelphia Daily News since 1965. In 2011, he received the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, the highest honor given by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Conlin says everything he has accomplished during his 50-year career is attributable to what he absorbed during those three intense years of experiencing hands-on journalism at The Temple News.