Jimmy Breslin has died

Jimmy Breslin, the common man's incomparable chronicler, has died of complications from pneumonia.  He was eighty-eight, and for forty years, I believe, he wrote for four different New York City dailies about cops and street vendors, workers and fishermen, and the lost – the unsung but often the best of us.  My father, Lieutenant Harry L. Miniter, died from line-of-duty injuries with the New York City Fire Department, and it was a number of years after that that I read a column of Jimmy's about firemen.  "The city's infantry," I remember he called them.  Still missing my dad, I cried for him, tore the piece out, and carried it in my wallet until, decades later, it turned to dust.  Now I carry it in my heart.

It's the epitaph of a great writer: what he leaves you to move on with.

Richard F. Miniter is the author of The Things I Want Most, Random House, BDD.  See it here.  He lives and writes in the colonial-era hamlet of Stone Ridge, New York; blogs here; and can also be reached at miniterhome@gmail.com.


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