Marv Schneider, former Associated Press reporter, dead at 84

NEW YORK (AP) Marv Schneider, an Associated Press sports writer, editor and broadcaster for more than four decades and the reporter who broke the news of Joe DiMaggio's death, died Friday.

Schneider, 84, warmed the newsroom with an infectious laugh and smile, storytelling and his love for cigars. He worked at the AP for 43 years until his retirement in 1999 and then contributed as a freelance broadcast reporter for much of the following decade.

He had surgery about a year ago to relieve fluid on the brain and recovered, but his health deteriorated quickly this week, his wife, Anna Burris said.

Schneider started with AP in the radio department and then moved to sports. When the news agency launched its broadcast network, Schneider became its New York correspondent. His signature tag line ''Marv Schneider, New York,'' was familiar to listeners all over the country and the world.

For many years, Schneider was a mainstay on the sports desk at AP's world headquarters in Rockefeller Center. The quick-witted Schneider turned the newsroom into his stage.

''He was a rock - a behind-the-scenes guy who ran the night sports desk for years with a booming made-for-broadcast voice, a wicked sense of humor and a fat cigar,'' former AP Sports Editor Terry Taylor said. ''Marv handled mountains of bulletins and urgent copy and never broke a sweat. Though he could be tough, loud and demanding, it was always so much fun to work for him. He was a terrific teacher, and he was beloved by the staff.''

When DiMaggio took ill, Schneider established a relationship with the Hall of Famer's attorney, Morris Engelberg, explaining that Engelberg could take care of daily updates with one call instead of having to answer swarms of inquiries. The AP had the story first when DiMaggio died on March 8, 1999, and Schneider co-authored a book with Engelberg published in 2003, ''Setting the Record Straight.''

Schneider was born in Yonkers on July 14, 1930. After his graduation from New York University with a degree in journalism, he worked for The Herald Statesman in Yonkers before joining the AP.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by sons Martin and Steven of New York, and Gregg of Hackettstown, New Jersey; stepson Dr. Allen Burris and wife Sheila of Midlothian, Virginia; stepdaughter Wendy DeLisi and husband Larry of Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania; and sister Elaine Gottlieb and husband Marvin of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

A funeral is scheduled for Monday at Robert Schoem's Menorah Chapel in Paramus, New Jersey. The family asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the National Council of Jewish Women.

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