Robert H. Boyle, a former senior writer for Sports Illustrated and environmental activist, died of cancer Friday in Cooperstown, N.Y., his daughter Stephanie Boyle Mays told The New York Times. He was 88.
Boyle joined SI in 1954, shortly after its inception and at a time when it had published just four issues. He continued on to cover subjects ranging from pigeon racing to the NFL for the magazine, and he won the 1981 Communicator of the Year award from the National Wildlife Federation.
Before embarking on a career at SI, Boyle was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Manhattan. He attended Trinity College and Yale and served as an officer in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. He also worked as a U.P. reporter prior to joining TIME.
An avid fisherman and bird enthusiast, Boyle devoted much of his time to helping to preserve the Hudson River.
He played an instrumental in the founding of the Hudson River Fisherman's Association in 1966. While serving as president of the HRFA—which eventually became Riverkeeper—Boyle appeared as a witness to testify against a New York City project to put a highway and buildings atop a landfill in the Hudson River. A court order would stop the project.
He also wrote several books, including The Hudson River: A Natural and Unnatural History, published in 1969.
In 1973, John A. Meyers described the work as "the definitive work on the subject" in a Letter from the Publisher, and described Boyle as "a fisherman and conservationist of fearsome vigor. Also a bottomless pit of facts."