Abe Chanin, a longtime Arizona Daily Star sports editor, UA professor, newspaper publisher and author, died this morning following a brief illness. He was 92.
Chanin was a powerhouse reporter and editor at the Star from 1940 until 1976. In 1947, he helped found the Star’s Sportsmen’s Fund, one of the oldest 501 (c) (3) charities in Southern Arizona. Since then, the Star has paid to send 35,869 needy children to camp.
Chanin also ran Collegiate Baseball newspaper, which he — along with his wife, Mildred — published until 1970. The couple also co-published The Arizona Post, a Jewish newspaper, from 1956 to 1965.
Chanin’s chronicling of University of Arizona athletics was unparalleled at the time. His 1979 book, “They Fought Like Wildcats,” remains of the most complete and authoritative annals of UA sports.
Chanin was most proud of his role as a teacher, whether it was as an editor or eventual professor at the UA, his daughter, Beth Rudolph, said.
“There were a lot of people he mentored who were reporters, but there were people he mentored in other professions, too,” she said. “He liked passing on knowledge and seeing people succeed.”
Chanin taught at the UA from 1976 until 1988, when was named director of the Southwest Jewish archives. He stayed there until 1994.
The Chanins relocated to Albuquerque 10 years ago to be closer to Beth, their only child, and her family. Mildred Chanin died in 2012.
Abe Chanin missed his wife terribly, their daughter said. They were married 67 years.
“He had some good days,” Beth Rudolph said, “but he really missed her.”
Abe Chanin, a Tucson High School and UA graduate and World World II veteran, is a member of the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame and Daily Wildcat Hall of Fame. The UA’s award for best student sportswriting bears his name.
Read more in Sunday’s Arizona Daily Star.