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ACU Remembers: Bill Hart

2006 Bill Hart 675x510 96dpiAward-winning sportswriter Bill F. Hart (’52), who wrote about Abilene Christian University athletics for decades while forging a storied newspaper career in West Texas, died April 21 at age 83 in Baird, Texas.
A memorial service for Hart will be at 10:30 a.m. today at Baird Church of Christ (Interstate 20 and F.M. 2047), with internment at nearby Ross Cemetery.
He was born in Abilene, Texas, on July 20, 1931, graduated from Baird High School in 1948 and married Linda May (’55) on Aug. 17, 1956, in Megargel, Texas. The Harts were longtime members of the Baird Church of Christ where Bill served as an elder for many years.
Hart was sports editor for The Optimist and on the staff of radio station KACC as an ACU student, and taught classes in his alma mater’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communication in the late 1970s.
He began work for the Abilene Reporter-News in 1973 following newspaper jobs in Lubbock, San Angelo, Temple and Binghamton, N.Y. He retired in 1999 after 47 years of full-time sportswriting but continued authoring a Sunday column for the Reporter-News until his death.
Hart was inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame, the ACU Sports Hall of Fame and the Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame. He was an officer in the Texas Sports Writers Association who was known for his encyclopedic knowledge of high school football and track and field. He was sports editor during part of his Reporter-News tenure.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Willie Conner Hart; a brother, J.C. “Buddy” Hart (’41), and a grandson, Justin Travis Hart.
Survivors include Linda, his wife of 59 years; daughters Cindy (Hart  ’84) Hickerson and Marilu (Hart ’88) Hall; sons Dr. Charles Randall Hart (’86) and Keith Lee Hart; 10 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; six step-grandsons; one step-great-grandson; and a sister, Mary Jo (Hart ’37) Garner.