Monday, October 21, 2002

Former Enquirer sports reporter dies

Bill Anzer shared love of horse racing with readers

By Nicole Hamilton
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        William Anzer, former high school sports and turf editor for The Cincinnati Enquirer, died Saturday at Hospice of Blue Ash from pneumonia. The longtime Norwood resident was 76.

        In his 25-year career with the Enquirer, Mr. Anzer covered almost every sporting event - from the Rose Bowl to Reds games, University of Notre Dame football to University of Cincinnati basketball. He began as a high school sports editor and was pivotal in establishing the newspaper's annual awards banquet honoring the best in young athletes, the Enky Awards.

        “He was a quiet and funny man who had a lot of friends at the newspaper,” said his wife of 51 years, Joann Anzer of Norwood.

        Mr. Anzer eventually became the Enquirer's turf - or horse racing - reporter. He covered major races such as the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes and interviewed important figures in horse racing, including veteran jockey Bill Shoemaker. His expertise and interviewing style led to a television show featuring Mr. Anzer and John Battaglia from Latonia Race Track.

        “He was a delightful character, and was very knowledgeable about racing,” said former Enquirer assistant sports editor Richard Macke of Covington, who worked with Mr. Anzer for almost 25 years.

        Raised in Bond Hill, Mr. Anzer graduated from Purcell High School. Shortly after, he began his career in the newspaper business - working in the editorial department at the Times-Star (a former Cincinnati newspaper). It was there that he met Joann, who was working as a copy girl. The two were married in December of 1950.

        Mr. Anzer left the Enquirer about 1975 and went to work in public relations for Beulah Park and River Downs racetracks. He later worked in the Clerk of Courts office for about 11 years, retiring in 1992.

        A son, Michael, preceded him in death.

        Besides his wife, Joann, survivors include three sons, William Jr., Nicholas and Anthony, all of Norwood; and a daughter, Kristina Trame of Pleasant Ridge.

        Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m., Wednesday at Kleb, Naegle & Ihlendorf Funeral Home, Norwood.

        Mass of Christian burial will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Drex and Montgomery roads, Norwood.


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