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Feature Stories

Krikorian Covers a Life of Sports

From Issue: Volume XXI - Number 7
4/5/2013


By Aaron Ledesma

For over 45 years, journalist and California native Doug Krikorian brought much of the southland its sports news. His readers followed his columns at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and, more recently, the local Press-Telegram faithfully as Krikorian enjoyed the dynamic lifestyle sports writing brings.

Since departing from the P-T in 2011, Krikorian has directed his energy on writing of a more literary persuasion with the production of his 2013 book “Between the Bylines: The Life, Love and Loss of Los Angeles’s Most Colorful Sports Journalist.”

In his book, Krikorian describes his experience as a young, “wide-eyed” journalist at the front lines of the professional sports world. Krikorian tells of becoming close with great American sports figures of the likes of Joe Namath, John Wooden, Howard Cosell, Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain and Al Davis -- among many others.

Krikorian’s trajectory towards sports journalism began when he was 14 years old and his father took him to his first Major League Baseball game in San Francisco. They arrived early enough to see the Giants go through their warm ups next to the “men on the field with suits and sports coats holding pens and notepads.”

Young Krikorian would learn the men with the pens followed the team on the road.

“Well I wanted to be a Major League Baseball player,” Krikorian shares, “but obviously I knew that wasn’t gonna happen. The next best thing was traveling with major league teams.”

Krikorian studied journalism and political science at Fresno State University before writing at the Pacific Palisades’ Palisadian Post, the Camario Daily News, the Tulare Advance Register, and even worked as a copyboy at the L.A. Times until becoming a full-time sportswriter at The Herald.

In his career, Krikorian covered over four decades worth of competition, living his dream of travelling with professional teams – spending seven seasons following the Los Angeles Rams, two seasons with the Lakers and four seasons with the UCLA basketball team.

Krikorian also covered games for the Clippers, Dodgers, Raiders and USC and gained much exposure during the 1980s and 1990s boxing scene.

In his narrative, Krikorian recounts his experiences with L.A. boxing icon Johnny “The Downey Flash” Ortiz and how he “began prying out of him the techniques he employed for his astonishing success with the ladies.”

Krikorian’s appreciation for nighttime escapades was a secret to few when a great shift in his life came during the spring of 1992 in the form of a London physical therapist.

“I knew the instant Gillian emerged from that passenger gate that long ago night at the Nice airport that I wanted this woman to become a permanent part of my life.”

Krikorian’s love for Gillian Howgego calmed his life’s turbulent pace and became the driving force behind his passion. This love would later turn to heartbreak when Krikorian and his new bride battled her lung and colon cancer. Krikorian supported his wife as she fought with the tenacity of a “Judo black-belt” before passing away in 2001.

Since February 2012 Krikorian has focused on his book – save reuniting with his long time radio partner, Joe McDonnell for a well received four months of internet radio.

Published by History Press, “Between the Bylines” is available at local bookstores and on amazon.com.

Krikorian gave a book reading and signing at Gatsby Books this week and will do another signing at Joe Jost’s on April 13 from 1-4 p.m.

aaron@longbeachcomber.com