Former Haverhill Gazette sports editor Fred Burnham, who died Nov. 29 at age 81, was an amazing guy.
A graduate of the old St. James High School, Burnham was Haverhill through and through. He also had a noteworthy career in radio including at WHAV in Haverhill.
His obituary noted Burnham covered 18 World Series and the 1970 Indianapolis 500 for the Gazette and that he was Director of Public Relations at the former Hale Hospital.
For years, he and Tom Vartabedian were quite the 1-2 punch in the Gazette sports department, which was a daily paper until 1998 and is now a weekly.
In a 2014 Gazette story, Vartabedian wrote:
“For the life of me, I could never understand how Fred got around. Born with spina bifida, he walked with the aid of crutches and a cane until a wheelchair moved into his life. Yet, he never skipped a beat when it came to coverage. The limp never subsided.
“He spent his summers at Salisbury Beach, attended every World Series I can recall and wintered in later years in Sunrise, Florida, with his mom. Fred never let his handicap stand in the way of a story or a good time. He was resilient.”
Donations may be made in his memory to the Jimmy Fund, 10 Brookline Place, Brookline, MA 02445.