Bill Nack, the former Sports Illustrated reporter and author known for his coverage of horse racing, and who chronicled Secretariat in particular, has died at the age of 77.
He died Friday at his Washington home from complications associated with cancer.
Nack was awarded the 2017 PEN/ESPN America Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing, and won seven media Eclipse Awards for his writing on horse racing. His 1975 book “Secretariat: The Making of a Champion” is considered the definitive work on the Triple Crown-winning horse.
“We are very saddened to learn of Bill’s passing,” representatives from the Secretariat team, including the Chenery/Tweedy family, Ron Turcotte and Secretariat.com, said in a statement Saturday. “He was as much a part of the Secretariat story as anyone and his book ‘Secretariat: The Making of a Champion’ remains the benchmark for excellence in equine journalism.
“Bill was a master storyteller whose incredible talent was only matched by his vast knowledge in a diverse spectrum of interests including film and entertainment, poetry and literature, history, politics and of course his favorite subject — horse racing.”
Nack spent 23 years at Sports Illustrated following an 11-year stint at Newsday. After his time at SI ended in 2001, he did freelance work for outlets such as ESPN and GQ.