Richard J. Reynolds '31, '32 A.M.
Hometown: Providence, RI
Year Inducted: 1981
Richard J. Reynolds ’31, ’32 A.M. will go down in history as Rhode Island’s greatest authority on dinner menus. In his 32-year career as schoolboy sports editor of the Providence Journal-Bulletin, Dick estimated that he attended 15,000 sports banquets. Of greater importance is the fact that in those years he became one of Rhode Island’s greatest ambassadors of good will. A witty man and a marvelous after dinner speaker, Reynolds is a person without pretensions and always made himself the butt of his jokes. Gene Buonaccorsi, sports editor of the Providence Journal, said that as a writer Dick Reynolds was “a craftsman without peer” and added that he was capable of presenting the everyday experiences of athletes in a warm, interesting manner. This figures because Reynolds, who made his arena the playing fields and locker rooms of high school from one end of the state to the other, always thought of schoolboys as persons first and athletes second. It was Dick Reynolds who brought Rhode Island front and center on the international stage in a pioneer role of People-to-People diplomacy. The People-to-People Committee was a sleepy Washington agency with a small budget and no particular reason for being when Reynolds wrote to Senator Hubert Humphrey in 1962 and got the green light to initiate a program that eventually sent R.I. athletes on 45 trips to foreign countries during the next decade and brought foreign teams to this state. It was some story – the quiet sports writer turned part-time diplomat. The graduate of Hope High earned a Phi Beta Kappa key at Brown and was a Francis Wayland Scholar. In 1939 he returned to his Alma Mater as Brown’s first full-time director of sports information. His name is indelibly inscribed on the rolls of the R.I. Football Coaches Hall of Fame, the R.I. Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame, and in the hearts of thousands of young men, now grown to maturity, who grew up following high school sports through the writings of Dick Reynolds. The man has truly made a life beyond a living.