HONOLULU -- Good-natured sports columnist and San Francisco 49ers superfan Dan McGuire died Tuesday after a six-month fight against cancer of the pancreas. He was 65.
McGuire was born in Kansas City, Mo. His 43-year career as a sportswriter included time with the Berkeley Daily Gazette, United Press, The Oakland Post-Enquirer and more than 20 years with the Honolulu Advertiser.
McGuire joined the 49ers as a publicist in 1950.
'He could handle the best and worst writers covering the team without making any enemies,' said Roger Williams, former sports editor of the San Francisco Examiner.
Legendary 49ers quarterback and close friend Y. A. Tittle described McGuire as 'a player's publicity man.'
'As poorly as you might play one day, he'd stick up for you with the sports writers so we could live to play another day,' said Tittle.
McGuire returned to the Advertiser after 13 years. When the 49ers finally won the NFL championship in 1982, he was in the press box covering for the Advertiser. He sent in his game story, then went to celebrate with the players.
Friends called McGuire the thinking-man's sports writer.
'Dan was truly a remarkable man,' said Advertiser executive editor Buck Buchwach, one of his closest friends for almost 40 years.
'He was interested in everything that went on in this world. He was a true Renaissance man, and exhibited grace under pressure, right down to the moment he knew he hadn't much time to live.'
The 'Silver Fox' -- McGuire's nickname because his hair had turned completely white at 21 -- was such an institution in Honolulu that a letter from Baltimore addressed only with his photo on the envelope was delivered to him last year within two days of its postmark.
He was graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1939, then joined the Berkeley Daily Gazette, becoming sports editor in 1941. He moved to the sports desk of United Press in San Francisco, and was sent to Honolulu in 1944 as a war correspondent. He spent a year with the Oakland Post-Enquirer after the war, before his first stint with the Advertiser beginning in 1946.
McGuire was a voracious reader, avid golfer and, in recent years, had taught himself to play the organ.
Divorced in the 1960s, he married again in 1966. His wife, Margaret Keane McGuire, whose paintings of wide-eyed children are recognized worldwide, was at his bedside at Straub Clinic and Hospital Tuesday morning when death came.
'Dan died peacefully as he slept,' she said.
Services were scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Diamond Head Mortuary, and Friday at Star of the Sea Church, followed by burial at Diamond Head Memorial Park.